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Assistant Professor
Director of Fr-eshmen English

Assistant Professor

The University of Texas at El Paso


m»L.j: rWi b,it Mi $li A: ~ tœr 1J ~lc1

The idea behind 20 Patterns - the ide a that students can learn
write imitating patterns - grew out of our classroom
after we discovered that teaching by rules almost never will
that teaching always will. this u.V~'-'.~.~'-'.u.
not a new one. The teaching of writing by the imitation of
back to the pedagogy of the Renaissance; it was a common in
the schools of Elizabethan England; it was certainly a widespread
method of teaching in America from colonial times until early in the
twentieth century. Our literary history shows that most great stylists
of English - Shakespeare, Bacon, Donne, Milton, Jefferson, Churchill
-learned to create good English sentences by imitating examples from
earlier literary masters. Current novelists, popular essayists, and scholars
in aIl fields, using as they do sentence patterns like the ones in chapter
two of this book, also reflect in their writing their debt to the past,
to the early masters of English prose.
The validity of teaching by imitation, by patterns for sentence
©Copyright 1972 by Barron's Edueational Series, Ine. structure and punctuation, became evident as we watched our students
improve their ability to write, once they had sentences to imitate. Like
All rights reserved. Topsy, this book "just growed." It grew with help from colleagues in
No art of this book may be reproduced our department; our students helped us lçam just what patterns they
in any f!:rm, by photostat~ microfilm, x~rography,
or any other means, or mcorporated mt? any needed most often to get sorne style and variety in their writing; other
information retrieval system, electron!c ?r
mechanical without the written permzsswn teachers offered encouragement and many helpful suggestions as our
of the copyright owner. patterns increased from ten to the present basic twenty. The book
evolved still further as we presented these twenty patterns in an English
AU inquiries should be addressed to: journal, in a statewide meeting of college teachers, in numerous work-
shops, seminars, and classes for graduate teaching assistants planning
Barron's Edueational Seri~, Ine.
113 Crossways Park Dnve to teach English composition.
Woodbury, New York 11797
To our students who have mastered these patterns, who have made
Library of Gongress Gatalog Gard No. 70-184892 suggestions now reflected in the explanation sections, and who have
contributed many of the examples, we are deeply grateful. We are deep-
International Standard Book No. 0-8120-0440-X ly indebted to Dr. W. R. Lacey, Mrs. Piney Kiska, and Mrs. Marjorie


91011 1213

Cervenka who made valu able suggestions about the We

are also grateful to our other associates on this campus and elsewhere;
their encouragement and support for this technique has helped us prove Preface
once again that the Renaissance tradition of teaching by imitation will lntroduction
work better than teaching by ruIes alone. We hope that this book will Suggestions for getting the most out of this book
provide another link in that tradition.

Marie L. Waddell
Robert M. Esch
Roberta R. Walker The Twenty Patterns for Style and Variety 5

THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS Compound Constructions 5

AT EL PASO 1. Compound sentence with semicolon and no con-
FEBRUARY 1, 1972 junction 6
2. Compound sentence with elIiptical construction
3. Compound sentence with explanatory statement

Sentences with Series 17

4. Series without a conjunction 18
4a. Series with a variation 20
5. A series of balanced pairs 22
6. An introductory series of appositives 24
7. An internaI series of appositives or modifiers 26
7a. A variation: a single appositive or a pair 28
8. Dependent clauses in a pair or in a series 30

Repetitions 32
9. Repetition of a key term 34
9a. A variation: same word repeated in a parallel
structure 38
10. Emphatic appositive at end, after a colon 40
IDa. A variation: Appositive at end after a dash 42

Modifiers 45
Il. Interrupting modifier between subject and verb 46
Il a. A full sentence as interrupting modifier 48
12. Introductory or concluding participles 50
13. A single modifier out of place for emphasis 52
14. Preposition al phrase before the and verb
56 Almost anyone can benefit more about
15. Object or complement before subject and verb You don't have to be a student in any school to benefit from
15a. Complete inversion of normal pattern 60
aIl you need is the desire to write well. And you must
An Assortment of Patterns to create better sentences or you would not be reading this
16. Paired constructions 62 you know how to write good, basic sentences yet find that
16a. More paired constructions, for contrast only 64 lack something, that they sound immature because they have no
17. Dependent clauses as subject or object or comple- no style, then this little book is for you.
ment 66
18. Absolute construction anywhere in sentence 68 But if you want to write better sentences, how do you go about
19. The short simple sentence for relief or dramatic doing it? I1's simple. You learn to write better sentences just the way
effect 70 you learn almost every other skill: by imitating the ex amples of those
19a. A short question for dramatic effect 72
20. The deliberate fragment who already have that skill. You probably have already discovered
that it is easier to rnaster anything - whether it is jumping hurdles,
doing a swan dive, playing the guitar, parking your car - if you are
Sentences Grow Sorne More 76 willing to practice imitating a model. Nowhere is this principle more
Combining the Patterns-Ten Ways as in Chapter 2 76 obvious than in writing; just take Benjamin Franklin's word for it.
Expanding Sentences 78 like that shrewd man, you are willing to irnprove your writing skills
CHAPTER 4 copying models of clear sentences, then this book with its five different
Figurative Language in Your Sentences chapters will help you to rnaster the skill of writing anything weIl
even gracefully and with style.
Simile 81 Metaphor 82 Analogy 84
Allusion 85
CHAPTER 1 reviews briefly what constitutes a sentence. If you don't
really understand the functions of different parts of a sentence, you rnay
The Twenty Patterns-In Print need a supplernentary book with a fuller discussion of sentence structure.
This chapter sirnply and briefly reviews the various parts of the sentence
"Tough Country" from c. L. Sonnichsen's Tularosa
(Devin-Adair) 87 utilizing the tradition al terrns you will find in the explanations and
Arthur Schlesinger, Excerpt from A Thousand Days descriptions of the patterns in Chapter II. Analyze these sentences until
(Houghton-Mifflin) 94
you understand their various parts.
Suggested Review Questions 97 THE WHOlE IS THE SUM OF ITS PARTS
Why Punctuate'l 102
Punctuation: A Signal System 102 CHAPTER 2, the heart of this book, contains twenty different sentence
patterns, sorne with variations. If you study the graphie picture of each

pattern (the rnaterial in the nurnbered boxes) and also notice the analogy, or allusion - into your own
precise punctuation dernanded by that you will then be able never merely echo or rehash sorne
to irnitate these different kinds of sentences in your own writing. The cliché. Create new images from your own experiences, from your own
explanations un der each boxed pattern will further clarify HOW and way of 100king at life.
WHEN you should use a particular pattern; the exarnples following the IMAGINATION IS ONE CORNERSTONE STYLE
explanations will give you rnodels to study and ta imÏtate. With these
as guides, you should th en practice writing and revising until you rnaster CHAPTER 5 contains excerpts from the works of expenenced wrÏters
the skill of constructing better sentences. who have incorporated patterns like these in their paragraphs.
As you revise, take sorne of your original sentences and deliberately the marginal notes which give the pattern numbers you have learned
rewrite thern to fit sorne of the se patterns. This technique rnay at first from studying CHAPTER 2. Then go analyze something you are reading;
seern tao deliberate, tao contrived an atternpt at an artificial style. Sorne discover for yourself how writers handle their sentences and their
of the sentences you create rnay not even "sound like you." But what punctuation. And don't be afraid ta imitate them when you write. You
rnay seern like mere artifice at first will ultimately be the means ta will, of course, find "patterns" (arrangements of words in sentences)
greater ease in writing with flair and style. which are not in CHAPTER 2 of this little book. Imitate others as well
as the twenty we present.
Your first draft of any communication - letter, theme, report, wrÏtten
or oral speech - will almost always need revision. When you first try
to express ideas in sentences, you are mainly interested in capturing
your elusive thoughts, in making them concrete enough on a sheet of
paper for you to think about them clearly. The second step in writing
- in fact, where writing really begins - is revision. Indeed, as many
great stylists agree and most students soon discover, good writing
actually begins with rewriting. Since this is true, you must work delib-
erately to express your captured ideas in clear and graceful sentences.

CHAPTER 3 will show you how sorne of the basic twenty styling patterns
in CHAPTER 2 can combine with other patterns. Study the examples
given and described in CHAPTER 3; then let your imagination direct your
own efforts at making effective combinations of the different patterns.

CHAPTER 4 will show you how to express your thoughts in fresh, figu-
rative language. Study the pattern for each figure of speech described
there, and then deliberately try to insert an occasional one - simile,
Since this method of teaching students to write by imitation will be new As we said in the introduction to the CHAPTER 1 does not
to some instructors, we hope this section will offer suggestions that tend to be a complete discussion of English sentence structure.
will find helpful and practical. For the inexperienced teacher we want to English prose sentence took several centuries to develop and is, as
anticipate some possible questions and provide some practical classroom Winston Churchill said, a "noble thing" indeed. There are entire books
guidelines; for the experienced teacher, we hope to offer a fresh approach dedicated to an explanation of it; hence our coverage is minimal.
to an old problem: getting students to write papers that are not too dull The main thing to do with CHAPTER 1 is to review with your class
and boring for them to write or for the teacher to read. The following the five important "slots" in the standard sentence -. subject, verb, com-
pages contain some hints for ways of teaching material in chapters one plement, modifier, and connectoI. Be sure the students understand the
and two. Additional pages addressed to students will also suggest val- terms and the functions of each. Give them sorne class practice in sepa-
uable ways for the teacher to present the patterns and other techniques rating subjects from verbs in any of their current reading. It is sometimes
to a class. (See pages xvi to xxii.) easier for students to find the essential skeleton of the sentence if first
they cross out, or put in parentheses, aIl of the preposition al phrases
(which are usually mere modifiers, anyway). Then let them discuss the
differences between phrases and clauses, between independent and de-
pendent clauses, between declarative and imperative sentences. Never
assume that your students will be very adept at this kind of analysis.
They won't. Therefore guide them carefully with detailed explanation
and many examples on the board.

xii THE ART OF STYlING SENTENCES Suggestions the Instrudor

a. the period - which would separate these into two

This chapter is the heart of Styling Sentences and con tains enough
material to keep your students busy throughout the semester as they b. a coordinating conjunction (and, or, nor, for, so, yet) pre-
incorporate it into their compositions. Pace your discussions to fit your ceded by a comma;
class; don't go faster than your class can master the material, and never c. a semicolon - sometimes with an adverb like therefore or
try to cover more than three patterns in any one class period. You will however;
find that there is a kind of Iogic behind the grouping and arrangement of
the patterns, so you might find it easier to go straight through from d. a colon - but only if the second sentence explains or ex-
number one to number twenty instead of skipping around helter-skelter. tends the idea of the first.
You are going to need to explain each of these patterns in great 3. Use a bracket to set off dependent clauses and clarify their func-
detail; you will also need to explain the ration ale of the punctuation. tion as PART of the independent clause:
Since one of the greatest teaching aids in the average classroom is the
blackboard (yours may be green or bIue!), don't hesitate to use it. Marcie Il bought [whatever she 1 wanted.]
Before you start with PATTERN 1, put sorne sentences on the board and [What Tatum 1 needs] Il is more discipline.
review the sentence structure from CHAPTER 1. A good place to begin The Httle Temple children Il played [where the fallen
any kind of analysis of sentence structure is to have students put paren- leaves 1 were deep and soft.]
thesis marks around aIl prepositional phrases, using anything from their
4. Use a wavy line un der an absolute phrase:
current reading - a textbook, the sports page, a wordy advertisement,
lyrics of a popular song, or just the label on a ketchup bottle or a beer
~~ the task (of arranging the peace
can! This is good exercise because preposition al phrases are nearly
always modifiers of something and almost never a part of the basic terms) Il began.
sentence structure which just really has five "slots": subject, verb, 5. Use a circle around connectors and other non-functional terms.
complement, modifier, and connective.
Next, it might be fun to show that these constructions work even
Now, with your class, make up sorne graphie symbols to use when with nonsense words. Do one or two and then let the class put their own
you analyze and discuss sentences or use something like the following:
creations on the board and explain them.
1. Draw one line under the main clause (here, the entire sentence): A brownsly swartian Il swazzled (along the tentive clath.)
Yesterday l " thrombled (down the nat-fieuzed beach) [where
The atom bomb Il exploded man's old world and blew him into
glorphs and mizzles lay (in the sun).]
a new age.
After this review, your class should be ready to tackle the first group of
2. Dramatize what happens wh en there are two independent clauses
sentence patterns - the compounds. AIl of them are really just two sen-
in the same sentence:
tences in one, but with a vast difference that you must make clear. Now
The atom bomb Il shattered man's old world (into smither- is the time to have the class reaIly master the Checkpoints on page 15,
eens;) it 1/ suddenly blew him (into a completely new kind) the differences in the three compounds.
For exercises, yOD these ideas
Draw a dramatic circle between the two independent clauses
(which could be separate sentences); then explain that only four 1. Follow up your discussion of particular patterns by asking stu-
things can happen here: dents to write ten sentences of their own using the patterns you

assign. For easy v u ..,vn.'uF-.

a booklet of fifteen new
putting the number of the in The advan- terns with no more than two or three sentences
tage of this book is the control you have through the pattern each page. may copy the sentences
numbers. For subject matter students can draw upon their read- and them to the booklet pages,
background, hobbies, sports, other interests. If for of each sentence in their own
given assignment the entire class uses the same tapie or idea, the Take a long, involved sentence from the a':h,";;:'L'v'U

sentences will be easier for you to check and more fun for the your students rewrite if several times using four or five dltten::nt
class to discuss, to compare how many different arrangements of sentence patterns. (These revisions may have to contain
words can express the same ide a but with slightly different words that the original does not have.) Have students read these
emphasjs or rhythm. sentences aloud in class, commenting on the various effects thus
2. Use SENTENCE PATTERN 1, the compound with a semieolon and achieved.
without a conjunction, to teach or to test vocabulary. In the first 7. Point out to students the effectiveness of incorporating SENTENCE
clause of the compound have students USE and UNDER- PA TTERN 8 (the one with two or three dependent clauses) in their
SCORE the word in a sentence; in the second part have them thesis or using it to forecast their main points in the introduction
DEFINE that word in a sentence. or to summarize. the entire composition in the conclusion.
EXAMPLE: Zen Buddhism is an esoteric philosophy; only the S. Toward the end of the term, after they have mastered the
initiated really understand it. tems and know them by number, have students analyze sorne
of their current reading, ev en from other courses. Have
OR THIS VARIATION write in the margin the numbers of the sentence patterns they
The Greek root chrono means "time"; a chrono- find in other writers. (See CHAPTER 5 for two ex amples of this.)
meter measures time accurately. (See how much you
can teach about punctuation in a sentence with
this structure!)

3. Assign ten vocabulary words, each to be written in a different

sentence pattern. Have students underscore the vocabulary
word and label the pattern by number in the left margin. If stu-
dents give the pattern number of the structure they are imitating,
you can check the accuracy of their understanding of that pattern
and its punctuation at the same time you are checking their
vocabulary word.
4. Require students to have at least one different pattern in each
paragraph of their compositions. For easy checking have them
label each sentence by writing in the left margin the number of
the pattern they are imitating. See "Marginalia" (pp. xviii-xxii)
for more ways to encourage students in analyzing their writing
as they improve their craftsmanship.
5. Have students collect interesting sentences from their reading
Suggestions Student

and tone when you express the same idea with different
and punctuation. You may not be aware of these changes
unless you read aloud, so do it often because reading out loud
The suggestions and exercises below may seem too simple or too artificial will train your ear.
at first sight, but if you make a game of playing around with words, of 4. Analyze your reading material for interesting sentences, ones that
fitting them to the formula, you will probably enjoy yourself. You will you think have good patterns which you could imitate. (CHAP-
certainly learn how to write sentences that have sorne flair, and that TER 5 shows you how.) Whether you are reading a newspaper,
is a skill worth developing because a well-constructed sentence is, like a magazine article, or a skillfully styled literary work, you will
any artful design, the result of good craftsmanship; it actual1y involves find many sentences so weIl written that you will want to analyze
and requires: and then imitate them. Underline them; learn the pattern. Or
from your reading make a collection of sentences that you have
1. good composing or construction
especially enjoyed. Or keep a special note book of new and dif-
2. accurate punctuation
ferent patterns that you want to copy. In short, look for new
3. a feeling for the rhythm of language
and different kinds of sentences in everything you read and
4. an understanding of idiom
make a conscious effort to add those new patterns to the basic
5. darity of expression.
twenty in CHAPTER 2.
If you are not in a composition class, but are working alone without
a teacher's guidance, the suggestions below will help you to get the most
out of this book, sa do follow them carefully. Don't be afraid to copy a
pattern and fit your own words into it. Remember that aIl great crafts-
men begin as apprentices imitating a master. By following the suggestions
below and mastering the sentence patterns, you will increase your skill
in the art of styling sentences.

1. Study one pattern at a time. Write four or five sentences which

follow that pattern exactly, especially the punctuation. Go
through aIl twenty patterns in CHAPTER 2, taking only one at a
time, until you are confident you understand the structure and
the punctuation. Practice, practice - and more practice: this
is the only way to learn.
2. In every paragraph that you write, try to incorporate one or
more of these patterns, especially when you find yourself tending
ta write "primer sentences," those short and simple sentences
having the same kind of subject - verb structure. Deliberately
keep trying ta improve the quality and arrangement of aIl of
your sentences, whether they follow one of these patterns or not.
3. Think of something you want to say and then practice writing it
in three or four different ways, noticing the changes in effect


You might use a different color for each type of it would

not only make the first and following drafts colorful, but .would also
you see at a glance that you have incorporated ~ll the devlc~s and.
In every theme or paper you write there should be sorne goals, sorne micks" of good construction. These marks mlght seem d1stractmg
design that you are trying to fulfill. Marginalia can be a helpful guide first but the results will be worth the distraction. A mere glance at the
for you, a way of checking up on what you are doing wh en you write. ma;ginalia will indicate whether you understand the composition tech-
Marginalia is simply an analysis which you write in the left margin; it niques being taught. .
consists of words and symbols that indicate your analysis of what you Why bother with a11 of this? Because it works. There 1S no. better
do wh en you write. answer. You will come to realize that themes must have a vanety of
In the first themes of the semester your teacher will probably be sentences that there must be transition al terms if the theme is to have
highly prescriptive, more than later on. When you are told how many coherenc;, that pronouns help eliminate needless repetition of the same
words, how many paragraphs, sometimes ev en how many sentences word, that synonyms and figurative language give the them.e more. sparkle
should occur within paragraphs, don't resent the detailed directions. than you ever hoped for. Your teacher will like what he 1S readmg; you
Think about them as training in a skill. After a11, athletic coaches and will like what you are writing, and your marks will improve.
music teachers alike begin their training with strict regulations and
drills too. So follow aIl the "requirements." Eventually they will become On the following pages are two paragraphs written by a freshman
a part of your skill as a writer and will become a regular, even automatic student. Notice his marginal analysis and the effectiveness of the dif-
part of your writing. When they do, you can dispense with marginalia. ferent sentence patterns.

1. Underline the topic sentence of each paragraph in colored ink, crayon,

or pendl. Identify by the label T. S. in the margin.
2. In the Jeft margin of each paragraph, other th an the introductory or
concluding paragraphs, mark one pattern from the SENTENCE PAT-
TERNS. Mark in the margin SP #6 or SP #9a.

3. Indicate a pronoun reference pattern in one of the paragraphs by

drawing a circle around the pronouns and an arrow pointing to their
antecedent. Identify in margin as PRO. PATT. or provide a legend
at the bottom of your theme with aIl of the colors and their meaning.
4. Circle, in a different color, transition al words in one paragraph
("echo" words, transition al connectives, conjunctions).
5. List in the margin the types of sentences in one paragraph; be sure
that there are simple (S), complex (CX) , compound (C), and com-
pound complex (CCX) sentences - at least one of each type.
6. When you master a new vocabulary word, underline it and label if
VOC. in the LEFT margin.
THE AR OF STYLING SENTENCES Suggestions the Student


MARGINA LIA "Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore, TS A junk-man in baseball is the most feared pitcher of
So do our minutes hasten to their end .... " ~ '. ~ aIl. Most batters go to the plate with the knowledge
-William Shakespeare, SONNET LX "CO ~. that the pitcher usually throws either curves or fast-
S P4A balls or knuckleballs in the clinch. From his view at
In the first two lines of Sonnet LX, Shakespeare uses the plate, a batter sees a curveball pitcher's curve
a simile comparing the waves of the ocean to the SPI4 starting off in a line seemingly headed straight for
minutes of our life: "Like as the waves make towards SPI.2, his head. Fortunately, just before making any painful
the pebbled shore, / So do our minutes hasten to contact, the baIl seems to change its own mind, veer-
S.P.3 their end .... " This line is inverted: that is, the sub- ing away to the opposite side of the plate. But after
S. P. \,
ject - "our minutes" - is in the second line, and the long and arduous practice, any batter can learn to
comparison - "like as the waves" - is in the first anticipate or recognize a curve and be prepared for
Hne. The simile says, in effect, that "the minutes of it. The same is true for a fastball that blurs its way
our lives are like the waves on the shore." The waves into the catcher's mitt or for a knuckleball which
Vtre,. roll endlessly, inexorably toward the shore of the seems to have trouble deciding where to go. A vet-
S.P.l ocean; the minutes of our lives hasten endlessly 7J~ eran batter can learn to sense the sometimes erratic
toward the end of our lives. This figure of speech SPI path of either baIl; he can feel sorne confidence when
gives an image of movement. We can almost see time, SPIO he has sorne ide a of the pitcher's preferred baIl: a
S.P.IO like ocean waves, moving toward its destiny: the end ~4a... curve or a fastball or a knuckleball; he can even
S.P.IE> of life. Just as the waves end on the shore, so too our leam to make that wonderful contact which means a
S.P.3 life's minutes end in death. Sorne words in the simile hit. But he can be put completely off stride when he
Vo-e. have particular power: the word hasten conjures up ~ hears he has to face that most dreaded of an pitchers,
a mental picture of rapid movement, of inexorable SP9 a junk-man - dreaded because he can throw aIl
hurry toward sorne predestined end. The word ,(9~q)7.S.pitches with equal effectiveness and surprise. This
towards suggests a straight, unerring path going with- element of surprise coupled with variety makes the
out hesitation or pause to sorne goal. The waves move ~ ~ junk-man the most feared of aIl pitchers in baseball.
toward their goal: the shore. Our minutes move 1f::t~. For example, when Sam the Slugger goes to bat, he
toward their goal: life's end. This simile is a very &y~ can feel more relaxed if he knows that Carl the
effective, p~cture-making figure of speeci}®..paints ~ ~ Curve-man will probably throw curves about
a mental plcture of movement and destiny:'Q9 sug- five percent of the time; Sam can then, more than
a very important fac about life, a fact we must likely, be ready for at least one -- which UH_.~~iH ~
.• ..

remember. That tact is the truth expressed here is aU he needs to be for. The same is
beautifully Shakespeare -- life goes on forever Sam when a well-known fastballer
toward its never down or back. from feet
Our lives do indeed "hasten to their """·,.. ,.,,c,~ loses his ~==:::L
xxii THE R S T Y liN G SE N TE NeE

knots when Joe the Junk-man grins wickedly across

s that short sixtY feet from mound to plate; Sam hàs
no way to anticipate what surprises may lurk behind
that wicked grin when he faces the most feared
pitcher in baseball.

(The two paragraphs above are reprinted by permission of Shawn WaddelI

Freshman Composition 3101, UTEP, Spring 1971, cIass of Roberta Walker.) "'"""",,.."' . . . 11 is
Like sign language, the beat of drums, or smoke signaIs, sentences are
a means of communicating ideas. They may express emotion, give
orders, make statements, or ask questions; but in every case they are
attempting communication.
In most sentences there are two parts which follow a basic pattern:
Subject Il Verb
Occasionally, a sentence may be a single word. Who can argue that the
following words, standing alone without modifiers, may sometimes
communicate an ide a?
What? Nonsense! Exaggerate.
In certain contexts "What?" and "Nonsense!" may communicate a com-
plete thought. "Exaggerate," as you can see, has an implied "you" as
its subject.

Now Iet's break up a very simple type of sentence into its two parts.
The beés are swarming.
The zebras stampeded.
Try making up your own ex ample following the pattern above; box the
subject and verb, and insert a pair of vertical lines between these two
basic parts of the sentence. Only two slots are necessary - the S (sub-
ject) slot and the V (verb) sIot.

Now let's add modifiers to the subject, to the verb, or to both.

Note that you still have but two slots and need only one pair of vertical


Combining the S slot and the V slot, you can construct the most com- write. With this combination yOll can build an infinite of
mon sentence pattern. complex sentence patterns. Each new subject-verb combination
require a new pair of lilines. Longer sentences rnay have only one Sand
Each sentence pattern has a tradition al name, describing its pur- one V slot with one pair of vertical lines. Sorne tirnes there will be
pose and the task it performs: one S; sornetirnes there will be two or more subjects aIl in the sarne
TASK NAME slot because they come before the vertical lines separating S from V.
A sentence may make- a statement. Declarative The verb slot also may have one verb or several verbs.
May it also ask a question? Interrogative
Let it give an order. Imperative Cinderella and Frinella Il were sisters but hated each other.
What great emotion it can express! Exclamatory Sentences often have added attractions - something after the verb which
is neither a rnodifying word nor a phrase, yet even these sentences may
As you add words to modify the subject and verb, you will create have but one S and one V slot. If the verb is transitive, you will find
longer sentences, sorne with phrases, others with clauses. Quite simply, a direct object following it. In the following exarnples (aU simple sen-
a phrase is a group of words containing no subject-verb combination tences), direct objects appear.
but acting as a modifier. Clauses, however, are considerably more
complex. A clause is a group of words containing a subject-verb EXAMPLE: Benjy Il forgot his galoshes.
combination; sometimes the clause expresses a complete thought, but
not always. Agnes 1 \~ed her teacher's glares and continued
her mischieÎ-making.
makes a complete statement
communicates an idea by itself
DEPENDENT CLAUSE modifies a unit in another clause Throughout this chapter one line will underline the subject;
does not communicate a complete two lines, the verb.
may be a unit in another clause.
If the verb is intransitive, however, there may be subject completers
These two types of clauses combine to form various types of sentences,
(subject complements) which are nouns, pronouns, or adjectives. The
but the most common sentences are these:
following sentences illustrate the single SIIV cornbination with one or
SIMPLE makes a single statement more subject complements.
is an independent clause
has a subject and verb combination. ExAMPLE: Anne Boleyn was Henry VIII's second wife.
COMPOUND makes two or more statements Women's ernotions may be _ _ _ _ or _ __
has two or more independent clauses _ _ _ _ or or _ __
has two or more subject-verb combinations.
(YOU try filling in the blanks abovel)
COMPLEX has an independent clause
has one or more dependent clauses To aimost everY'part of the sentence you may add modifying words
functioning as modifiers.
and phrases. You will still retain the single subject-verb combination
or eise expand your sentence to include severai subject-verb com-
The subject-verb combination is the he art of each sentence you
binations, aIl having modifiers. Distinguish main clauses by putting Il

between the S V in the main clause and 1 between the S V in the de-
pendent clauses; then underline independent clauses and put brackets
around dependent clauses.

EXAMPLE: Long or short sentences Il can sometimes com-

municate eflectively the mos! difficult ideas in the
world. (simple)
Young women [who se skirts 1 were too short] and
young men [whose hair 1 was too long] Il marched
around the Army recruiting station last month. In this chapter you will learn twenty basic pattern~ which write~s
(complex) frequently use to help give their style flavor and. van~ty. !hese ~Ill
not be new to you; you've already seen them many bmes m th1~gS you ve
read before. Perhaps you have never thought about analyzmg them,
Now let's break the whole sentence into its parts. When making a
never thought they cou Id help you to perk up your prose. But they cano
mechanical analysis of any sentence, you should use the following labels
to identify the various parts:
Study them - give them a chance to help you.
S subject C connective (conjunction) M modifier
V verb 0 object of preposition 10 indirect object
object of infinitive
SC subject complement P preposition DO direct object In the first chapter you studied the most elementary kinds of .se~tence
attems. The easiest way to expand the basic sentence pattern 1S slmply
The following sentence illustrates the type of analysis you might practice: ~o join two short complete statements (simple senten.ces) and th~reby
make a compound. When you do this, be sure to aVOld the two pItfalls
IVIMMS V M SC PM 0 of the compound sentence:
The large floppy hat appeared unbelievably incongruous on the seamstress. 1. the fused or ron-on sentence (which has no punctuation between
the two sentences you have now joined) ;
!,he following chapters in this manual will help you to write more
2. the comma splice (which is a mere comma instead of a period
effective sentences and will give you dues to spice up your dreary prose.
or semicolon or colon to separate the two sentences you have
As you will learn, sentences come to life as a writer plans them. Very
few fine sentences are spontaneous. The following pages will show you now joined).
models for sentences that you may imitate and utilize in your own A comma between independent clauses must have and, .b~t, or, nor, :~
writing. The patterns presented are basic ones, but by no means are for with it. Of course, you will have no trouble aVOldmg these t
they the only ones available to you. As your writing matures, you will problems if you faithfully copy the following patterns for compound
discover addition al patterns in your reading or even in your writing. sentences, being careful to copy punctuation exactly, too.
As you master your ability to analyze and to compose sentences, you
will justifiably be proud of your improving style.

And now you're off ... on the way to creating better sentences,
more polished paragraphs.
1 The Patterns

+ a subject-verb a ...... . . .
""LU .... L ....

(plus) combination ( equals ) every time.

and other such words

EXPLANATION: Caesar, try on this toga; it seems to be your size.

Rage is anger beyond control; it is a joyful dictator of destruction.
This pattern helps you joïn two short, simple sentences having The cry for freedom stops at no border; it echoes endlessly in the
two closely related ideas. In other words, if and or but or
hearts of a11 men.
for or or could join these statements, put them together in this
The vieu na is a gentle animal living in the central Andes; his fleece
~om~ound .pattern. Simply let a semicolon take the place of a con-
often becomes the fabric for expensive coats.
]UnctIOn wIth a comma. The graphie illustration in the box above
Despite its colorful blossoms the oleander is a dangerous shrub;
and the examples below show only two clauses; you may, of course,
the stems, when broken, exude a highly poisonous milky fluid.
have three or more.
Ïvlan is related to the monkey; only a monkey, however, would ever
And remember what makes a complete clause: a subject-verb admit the relationship.
combination which makes a full statement. In other words, an in-
dependent, complete clause must have sorne kind of verb' therefore
look for one on each side of the semicolon. Remember' that what Check to see that on both sides of the semicolOI;' there is a
precedes and what follows the semicolon in a compound sentence
complete statement (sentence).
(PATTERN 1) must be capable of standing alone as a sentence aIl After a semicolon there CANNOT be a construction like one
by itself. of these:
which is the ............... .
THIS is a fragment:
the result being ............. .
The reason for the loss in yardage being the although he never did ....... .
broken shoe-string on the left guard's shoe.
"Being" is not a verb; change it to "was" and make a sentence. These three errors can be corrected with slight revision:
it is the ......... , ........ .
THIS is another kind of fragment: the result will be ............ .
Which was the only explanation that he could give at he never did ..... ......... .
that moment. the words before a semicolon must make a complete

This ~rag:nent is a dependent clause, in spite of the subject-verb statement. N ever put a semicolon after the following construction:
combma~IOns (w.hi~h was and he could), bec au se of the dependent
For example; ....
word at lhe begmnmg. Remember this equation: and the +"".,. . ,..,.,,1""1-1H·O below zero;
Because the snow was
The work been finished five o'clock~
ln the space below, irnitate this and crea te sorne
THE ART OF STYLING SENTENCES sentences your own.

These three errors can be corrected thus:

For example, ....
Because the snow was deep, the temperature fell below zero.
The work was finished by five o'dock.
In short, don't confuse commas and semÏcolons.
o 355
read this aloud:
played a musical number
Joan, one by Beethoven.
If you leave out more than the verb, you may need to insert sorne
word like "one" here.
Notice in the sentence above and in the two below that it is DOSSlble
to leave out more than just the verb Hself; sometimes you may
EXPLANATION: leave out the subject and the verb:

This pattern is really the same as PATTERN 1, but here you The feminine mystique is intuitive, not rational;
will omit the verb in the second clause BECAUSE and ONLY IF aesthetic, not pragmatic.
it would needlessly repeat the verb of the first clause anyway. In There's an interesting difference in books on the subject of se~:
other words, the comma says to the reader, "Here you should in handbooks about dating, the experts tell you how to aVOld
mentally insert the same verb you have already read in the first H', in handbooks about marriage, how to enjoy it.
This construction naturally implies a need for more or less
parallel wording in both clauses; the verb, of course, must be The Eskimo lives in an igloo; the American Indian, in a teepee.
exactly the same. The Scottish Highlander sports a tam-a:.. shanter; the Texas Ranger,
For ex ample, this is not parallel: a Stetson or ten-gallon hat.
Sorne note-takers try to take down aIl the information from the
We like classical music
lecturer; others, only the main points.
The Russian ballerina wears a tutu; the Malaysian dancer, a brightly
1 1 1 1
George hard rock colored sarong.
The reader could not take the verb from the first clause and The quest for righteousness is Oriental; the quest for knowledge,
put it where the comma is, because "George like hard rock" is Occidental.
ungrammatical and improper. BUT even if your wording is parallel, A red light means stop; a green light, go.
even if the omitted verb is exactly like the one in the first clause, Terry always ordered a single dip of strawberry ice cream; Freddie,
you may still have an awkward-sounding sentence if you forget a banana split with pecans, two dips of chocolate fudge, and
the importance of rhythm and sound. whipped cream on top.
For ex ample, read this aloud:

Darby played a musical number by Bach; Joan, Beethoven. Be sure that there really are two inde pendent clauses here even
This sentence, read aloud, sounds as if Darby played something though the second one has an unexpressed verb.
written by three people!
Be absolutely sure that the verb omitted in the second clause
matches exactly the verb in the first clause.

This rule applies to whatever you after the semicolon. ln the space below, irnitate this pattern and create sorne
If you leave out more than the be sure the structure is sentences of your own.
and the thought is complete.
Use a semicolon if there is no conjunction; use a comma if
there is a joining, coordinate conjunction.

3 The Patterns

3: Pythons, anacondas, boa constrictors rely on ,the. s~me technique

ta kill their enemies: they coii about thelr vlctlms and crush
them ta death.
Creative writing is a little like biological creation: the offspring is
sometimes quite different from the parent.
Young men should always follow t h IS ' ru 1e: a1ways let her think
she's getting her way even though you know better.
This pattern is exactly like PATTERNS 1 and 2 in structure: it
is a compound; but it is very different in content, as the colon Now that you h.::lve learned aIl three of the compound sen-
implies. A colon in a compound sentence performs a special func- tences notice the differences, PATTERNS 1, 2, and 3 are NOT
tian: it signaIs ta the reader that something important or explana- simpl; three different ways to punctuate the same sentence, Th~
tory will follow (as this very sentence illustra tes). In this particular words must perform different functions; the sentences must do
pattern, the colon signaIs that the second clause will specifically different things:
explain or expand sorne idea expressed only vaguely in the first PATTERN 1 must make two closely related statements about the
clause, same idea, statements you do not want to punctuate as two
The first statement will contain a ward or an ide a that needs separate sentences;
explaining; the second statement will give sorne specific informa- PATTERN 2 must have the exact ward or words fro,m ,the fir~t clause
tion or ex ample about that idea. implied in the second - otherwise no ellipsis IS possIble;
As you study the following examples, notice that the first PA TTERN 3 must have a second independent ~lause that ,in sorne
independent statement mentions something in an un-specific way: way amplifies or explains the idea stated III the first Illdepen-
"a harsh truth," "a horrifying meaning." Then the independent dent clause.
statement after the colon answers your questions: "What harsh
truth?" "Which horrifying meaning?" In short, the second clause You should not use this pattern with a colon unless the second
makes the first one clear. statement is related ta the first.
Remember the test for aIl compound sentences: both clauses
EXAMPLES: must be full statements and capable of standing alone as sentences,
Darwin's Origin of Species forcibly states a harsh truth: only the
fiUest survive.
The empty coffin in the center of the crypt had a single horrifying
meaning: Dracula had left his tomb ta stalk the village streets
in se arch of fresh blood.
Carry Amelia Nation and her female temperance league had a
single goal: the y hoped ta smash every whiskey bottle and
hatchet every saloon in America.


ln the space below imitate this pattern and create some

sentences of your own. A series is a group of three similar a11 of which go
slot of the sentence. AIl items in the series must be similar
nouns or a11 verbs and sa on) because they have the same cr.,..." ........","'"·,,..'"
function. You may have a series in any slot of the sentence: three
four verbs for the same subject; three or four abjects for the same
preposition; three or four adjectives or nOuns in the abject or COlmV'le-
ment slot. You may have a series with any part of speech, not
single words but also with phrases or dependent clauses. You may
more than three items in a series, and you may also
different patterns:
A,B,C A and Band C A , B , and C

or with paired items: A and B, C and D E and F

Remember ta use commas between the items of aU series.

When is a series he/pful?

A series is a good way ta eliminate wordiness. If, for example, you have
three short sentences, reduce them to a single sentence with a series
somewhere in it.

Since any part of the sentence may have a
take care to make a11 items in the series pa1~all'el
are already parallel in function.
Find the items that are not parallel in this incorrect sentence:
Swimming, surfing, to go boating - these were SaUy's fa-
This pattern is the simplest form of the series. The items mak- vorite sports at the summer camp.
ing up the series are separated by commas, and in this special pat-
tern there is no conjunction linking the final two items. Omitting this Now explain why this revis ion is better:
conjunction in the series here is effective, for it gives your sentence Swimming, surfing, boating - these were Sally's favorite
a quick, staccato sound, a sound of crispness and liveliness. sports at the summer camp.
Develop your ear!
NOTE: Although it is not a pattern discussed in this book,
Read the series aloud so you can hear whether the items flow you may want to remember that the commonest pattern
together smoothly and euphoniously without the conjunction be- for series - A , B "and C - should always have the
fore the last item. Remember that tone and sound and fluency comma before the conjunction; otherwise, the may
are important considerations here. be confused or may compietely misread the meaning:

EXAMPLES: Shakespeare uses an image, a metaphor,. a simlle and

rhyme scheme to clarify his theme in this sonnet.
The goals of the ecology-awareness movement are clear: breath- (A "simile and rhyme" scheme? Without the comma be-
able air, drink able water, livable space, viable soil, an un- fore the conjunction, that's what it says!)
poIluted ocean.
The restaurant served four varieties of sandwiches: corned
The wheat is packed into creaking wooden elevators, into bins of
beef, pastrami, salami and egg with bacon.
every description, into Quonset huts that scar the landscape
- in fact into any available building. (Would you order the last one?)
The song swept through the world and toid more to the people than
aIl the books, aIl the speeches, an the pamphlets that had
preceded it.
Shortly after midnight in a serene, enchanting, mysterious perfor-
mance, the night-blooming cereus gradually begins to blossom.
With wisdom, patience, virtue, Queen Victoria directed the course
of nineteenth-century England.
The United States has a government of the people, by the people,
for the people.

ln the space below, irnitate this pattern and create sorne
sentences of your own.


OccasionaIly, you will want to vary the previous pattern and

write instead a series with conjunctions between aIl items (but us-
ually not for more than three). Again, let your ear be your guide.

Peering down from the hill, Merlin could see the castle swathed in
gloom and fear and death.
Despite his handicaps, 1 have never seen Larry angry or cross or
1 would never react weIl to sudden blindness; rd be weepy and
depressed and resentful.
Once you master the rhumba and the tango, you can turn to the
more difficult South American dances like the samba or the·
cha-cha or the mambo.
AIl that is good and decent and respectable seems abhorrent to
sorne anarchists.
5 1 Patterns

5: Lorenzo had that paradoxical character of the Ren~issance man

_ idealist and materialist, artist and debauche,
Jane Austen depicts with gentle satire the foibles and weaknesses,
eccentricities and ambitions, triumphs and defeats of the
human species.


This pattern has a series with an even number of items - four

or six or eight. Balance these in pairs with a conjunction between
each of the items in the pair. This construction creates a balanced
rhythm, but is this rhythm right for your sentence? Read the sen-
tence aloud; listen to the rhythm of your words because rhythm
is the important feature of this pattern. Does your sentence have
an orderly progression with a kind of climactic order for the items?
Can you hear the items balanced against each other? Do you like
the way the paired words sound together?

(NOTE: There are other coordinating conjunctions besides and

and or. See second ex ample below.)


Anthony and Cleopatra, Romeo and J uliet, Lancelot and Guine-

vere were a11 famous loyers in literature.
Eager yet fearful, confident but somewhat suspicious, little Johnny
eyed the barber who would give him his first haircut.
Alexa cou Id not decide whether humor or sorrow, gentleness or
cruelty, hope or despair should be the hallmarks of her char-
His ambition and ruthlessness, bis skill and cunning, his hatred
and crimes helped to bringabout the eventual downfall of
King Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field.

6: A. E .... Jl"-'''''..;''u ..... Lewis
<-''. 'L-U,LI.. V.U, Edward
nineteenth achieved fame

their professional work.

The "Mona Lisa," La Vita Nuova, the frescoes the
Chapel - what an imagination those Italians had!
.................. .................
a01IJOSlltnle - summary
, or: - which of these is the best proof of the ltalian
many, or: - many are the wonders of the Renaissance
someone. Sometimes Italy.
., ....11.'1""""'-. but sometimes it Will An old photograph, a haunting fragrance, a sudden view of a half-
forgotten scene - something unexpectedly triggers our nos-
talgia for the pasto
NOTE: Sometimes these appositives can be at the end. Try revers-
ing any of the sentences above, following the example of
This pattern begins with a "cluster" of appositives. An apposi-
the sentence below:
tive is simply another word for something named elsewhere in the
sentence - that is, it is another naming for sorne noun. After the The tea tax, the lack of representation, the distance from the M()tn(~r
appositives, there is a dash followed by a summarizing word and Country, the growing sense of being a new and independent
the subject-verb combination for the main clause. This word must country - what do you thlnk caused the American Revolu..
sum up the appositives before it. These appositives you may arrange tion?
in any of the patterns for series (see PATTERNS 4, 4a, and 5). What do you think caused the American Revolution - the tea
A highly stylized sentence, this is an extremely effective pat- tax, the lack of representation, the distance from the Mother
tern for special places in your writing, places where you want, to Country, or the growing sense of being a new and independent
squeeze a lot of information into the same siot. country?

Check the punctuation of this pattern:
The trees and the earth and the green water on the lakes, the hills
that were near and the far-off hills - aU toid their stories. 1. there must be commas between the appositives in the
The crack of the lion trainer's whip, the dissonant music of the
calliope, the neighs of Arabian staUions - these sounds 2. there must be a dash after the series.
mean "circus" to aU children.
Check ta see that there is a summary word at the beginning
To struggle, to exist, and so to create his own soul- tbis is man's of the maip clause.
great task. -
Love, hate, resentment, fear, anger, ambition - how many are the As in any series, aIl these appositives must be parallel in
emotions that direct our day-dreams! structure and in meaning.

Do you have two dashes?

It takes not one, but to make a pair.

Can you read a "complete sentence" even after you eliminate

EXPLANATION: the interrupting appositive or modifier? In other words, does
the sentence convey its message without the words between
The first of the sentence (or the last) is not the only place the dashes? If so, you have punctuated properly, for the func-
where you may have a series of appositives or modifiers. Apposi-· tion of the dashes is to mark an interrupter that could be
tives will re-name and modifiers will describe something named
elsewhere in the sentence. Any kind of series (sec Patterns 4, 4a,
5) may come between the subject--verb, between two subjects,
somewhere in an inverted sentence (see Pattèrns 15 and 15a; also
examples 2 and 3 below), and so on. Because this kind of series
will be a dramatic interruption within the sentence and may even
have commas, there must be a dash before and a dash aftel' it.


AIl the scholarly disciplines and especially aU the sciences

physical, biological, social - share the burden of seat'ching
for truth.
"Which famous detectives - Sherlock Holmes or Nero Wolfe or
Dick Tracy - will you take as your model?" the sergeant
The necessary qualities for political life - guile, ruthlessness, and
garrulity - he learned by carefully studying his father's life.
Young Beauregard - handsome, dashing, debonair, and full of
élan - kept aIl the young ladies on southern verandas breath-
less, dreamy-eyed, yet despairing.
The American co-ed's dream - becoming a child bride, producing
soggy babies, acquiring a suburban mortgage and a two-car
garage - sometimes tums into a nightmare.

Again, it takes not one, but to make a -two
dashes, two parentheses, two commas.

This pattern is Iike PATTERN 7 except that it has only one or two
items for the appositive instead of a full series. Here, the appositive
may be a single word or a pair of words; it may or may not have
modifiers. In this variation, there is aiso an interruption in thought
immediately after the subject, but here the appositive can have a
variety of effects, depending on your punctuation:
a pair of dashes will make the appositive dramatic;
parentheses will make it almost whisper;
a pair of commas will make it almost inconspicuous
becaus; they are so ordinary.

A familiar smell- fresh blood -- assailed his jungle-trained
The ultimate poIlu ter - you and l, my friend - must share the
burden and the guilt for having created this dirty world.
Two phases in the creative process - discovery and invention-
seem to reinforce each other.
His former wife (once a famous Philadelphia model) now owns
a well-known boutique in the Bahamas.
The Elizabethan concept of artifice (craftmanship well-executed
and therefore admirable) made the word "artificial" a compli-
ment, not a criticism.
Her joyous shouts of Iaughter - a delight to aIl who knew her-
no one will ever forget.

In Biology 3130 Stella learned that a hu:mrrlin~~bi1~d
that a screech owl actually whistles,
prefer to wade in water rather than fly around carrying
babies .
. , ., if 0' •• ,
When he smelled the pungent odor of pine, when he heard
When ... ,
chatter of jays interrupting the silence, when
startled doe, the hunter knew he had reached the
the forest.
If you promise ta keep your sax under the bed, if you agree to
help me with the dishes every evening and take out the garbage
EXPLANATION: pail every morning, if you really will "love, honor, and obey,"
The preceding patterns have shawn series with single words or then 1 might marry you.
phrases. This pattern shows a series with dependent clauses. AIl of Whether one needs fantasy or whether one needs stark realisrn,
the clauses in this series must be dependent; they must also be the theater can become a Mecca.
paraIlel in structure; they must express conditions or situations or Since he had little imagination and since he had even less talent, he
provisions dependent upon the idea expressed in the main clause. was un able ta get the position.
This series of dependent clauses may come at the beginning or at
the end of the sentence. You will normaIly have two or three clauses
here; rarely will four or five sound graceful and smooth. Try not
Don't think there must always be three dependent clauses
ta struggle for style; be natural, relaxed, never forced.
here. Two will work in this pattern also (see the last two examples
This pattern is a very special one. Save it for special places, above).
special functions. It is particularly helpful
1. at the end of a single paragraph ta summarize the major Wh ether you have only two or a full series of three or more,
points; whether you have the clauses at the beginning or end of the sen-
2. in structuring a thesis statement having three parts tence, you should arrange them in sorne arder of increasing impact
(or points); (see fourth ex ample ) .
3. in the introductory or concluding paragraphs to bring
together the main points of a composition in a single

Hecause it might seern difficult at first, because it rnay sound awk-
ward or forced, because it often creates lengthy sentences
where the thought "gets lost," this pattern seems forbidding
to sorne writers, but it isn't all that hard; try it.

Commas, dashes, periods, colons, and semicolons
A repetition is a restatement of a term; you may repeat the term degrees of pause. comma makes a brief pause: w~ereas a dash
once or several times within a sentence or a paragraph. signaIs a longer pause. There is a kind of finaht~ m the pauses
created by the colon, the semicolon, and the penod. The colon
use suggests that important words will follow, whereas. the. .
(like the period) is an arresting mark of punctuatlOn slgnalmg a
Repetitions help to echo key words, to emphasize important ideas
full stop before another idea begins.
or main points, to unify sentences, or to develop coherence between
sentences. Skillful repetitions of important words or phrases create Con si der these differences; decide what kind of pause you .
"echoes" in the reader's mind: they emphasize and point out key then punctuate, remembering that these marks are not really mter-
ideas. Sometimes you will use these "echo words" in different changeable. Each one suggests a different kind of pause.
sentences - even in different paragraphs - to help "ho ok" your
ideas together. NOTE:
Once you have mastered repetitions in the same sentence,
you will be ready to repeat sorne key words or phrase~
throughout your paragraphs, even from one paragraph to
you cre ote repetitions? the next. In your reading, look for the many ways that
Simply allow sorne important word to recur in a sentence or. in a writers effectively repeat sorne of their key words, scatter-
paragraph or ev en in different paragraphs. These "echo words" ing them around at various places in the sentence
may come any place in the sentence: with the subjects or the in different places throughout the same paragraph. In
verbs, with the objects or the complements, with prepositions or one paragraph Rachel Carson, for example, used "sea"
other parts of speech. You need not always repeat the exact form ten times' Winston Churchill repeated the phrase "we
of the word; think of other forms the word may take, such as freak shall figh~" eight times, using it to emphasize various
(noun) , freaking (participle) , freaky (adjective) , freakiness points throughout one dramatic speech.
(noun), freakish (adjective) freakishly and freakily (adverbs) ,
and freakishness (noun).

Where ore repetitions oppropriote?

Repetitions are appropriate in two different places in the sentence:
1. the same word repeated in a different position in the same
sentence (PATTERN 9);
2. the same word repeated in the same position (or "slot")
of the sentence: for example, the same preposition repeated
in a series or the same word used as object of different
prepositions (PATTERN 9a).

1 The

Here's one way of correcting the co mm on splice:

He was just a cruel brute of a man, brutal ta his
family and ev en more brutal ta his friends.
comma before rer>etItlo'n l

Every writer must obey what someone called the "eleventh com-
In this pattern you will repeat sorne key word in a modif in mandment," the commandment not to puzzle his reader.
phrase atta~h~d to the main clause. You may repeat the ~or~ We an inhabit a mysterious, inorganic world - the inner world,
exactly as 1t IS, or you may use another form of it: brute may the world of the mind.
brutal; jreak may become jreaky' battle
J may b ecome A. E. Housman used this pattern #9 at the end of a famous lecture:
baUZmg. "The tree of knowledge will remain forever, as it was in the
A key term is a word important enough to be repeated It beginning, a tree to be desired to make one wise."
~an come anywhere in the sentence, but the repetition of the w~rd In "The Lottery" Shirley Jackson mocles community worship of
18 most. common toward the end. Or, if you have a key word in outworn customs, customs that no longer have meaning, cus-
the subject slot of the sentence, the repetition of it may b f toms that deny man his inherent dignity and link him with
example, a part of an interrupting modifier. e, or the uncivilized world of beasts.
You may also vary this pattern slightly by using a dash instead Neither the warning in the tarot cards -- an ominous warning
of a comma; :emember that the dash suggests a longer pause, a about the dangers of air flight - nor the one on her ouija
greater break III thought than the comma permits. board could deter Marsha from volunteering for the first
Mars shot.
NOTE NUMBER ONE: Looking into the cottage we saw great splotches of blood smeared
~e sur~ that the word is worthy of repetition. Notice how on the walls, wans that only that morning had rung with
meffective the following "little Lulu" sentence is and all b _ shouts of joy and merriment.
cause of the repetition of an uninteresting, over~orked wor~.
~e was a g?od father, providing a good home for CHECKPOINTS:
bIS good chlldren. ~
Double check! Notice that the repetition is in a phrase,
not a clause. In tbis pattern, the words following the comma MUST
NOT have a subject or a verb with the repeated word; the result
~e sure that the attached phrase with the repeated key term would be a comma splice (comma fauIt).
IS NOT a complete sentence; if it is, you will inadvertently
create a comma splice, as here: WRONG: He was part of the older generation, his generation was
He was a cruel brute of a man, he was brutal to his born before the depression. (This compound must have
family and even more brutal to his friends. a semicolon.)

CORRECT: He was part of the older generation, a generation born
before the depression.

ln the space below, irnitate this and create sorne

A common error occurs wh en there is a
where the comma should be, thereby ,",.,.""3"1"11.,.,n- sentences of your own.
the modifier containing the repeated key term.
WRONG: He praises the beauty of his love. A love that is un-
fortunately hopeless because it is not mutual.
CORRECT: He praises the beauty of his love, a love unfortunately
hopeless because it is not mutual.

NOTE: The first example contains the "pattern" of a very

common fragment error:

s v S + [dep. clause] but NO verb

1 Patterns

Few know my sorrow, fewer know my name.

"Porphyria's Lover" captures a moment of a moment of
word in same of passion, a moment of tears.
His greatest discoveries, his greatest successes, ~is greatest influence
upon the world's daily life came to EdIson after repeated
Taylor entered his sophomore year with renewed hope, renewed
Repetitions of words may occur in other ways, of course. enthusiasm, renewed determination not to repeat the errors
You may want to repeat sorne good adjective or adverb in of his freshman year.
phrases or clauses with parallel construction: You must find other ambitions, other goals if your first ones don't
That South Pacific island is an isolated community, isolated work out.
from the values of the West, isolated from the spiritual
heritage of the East.
B. You may repeat the same preposition in a series:
AIl revolutionists are negative; they are against things - against
the values of the present and against the traditions of the
past, against materialism and against mysticism, against
taxation and representation and legislation.
C. You inay repeat the same noun as the object of different prepo-
This government is of the people, by the people, and for the
D. You may repeat the same modifying word in phrases that begin
with different words:
Sidney devoted his life ta those selfish people, for their selfish
cause, but clearly with his own selfish motives dominating
his every action.
E. You may repeat the same intensifiers:
Audrey appeared very chic, very soigné, very blasé.
Politicians concern themselves with sorne important issues,
sorne burning questions, sorne controversy dear to their

the space below, irnitate this pattern and create sorne
sentences of your own.

Often it is an idea, not a word, that you wish ta repeat. With-
holding it until the end builds the sentence to a climax and provides
a pattern for a forceful, emphatic appositive at the end of the sen-
tence where it practically shouts for your reader's attention. In
the above pattern, the colon - because it is formaI and usually
cornes before a rather long appositive - emphasizes this climax.
Remember that the colon makes a full stop and therefore must
come only after a complete statement; it tells the reader that
important words or an explanation will follow.

Most contemporary philosophies echo ideas from one man:
Plato, a student of Socrates and the teacher of Alexander.
A soldier goes A WOL for a very specifie purpose: ta hide from
the MP's.
A teenage girl never forgets one thing: how ta giggle.
Anyone left abandoned on a de sert should avoid two dangers:
cactus needles and rattlesnakes.
Were those twins my children, l' d make one thing clear ta them:
the curfew hour.

~ Check the words belore the colon; be sure they make a full
statement (sentence).

After the colon, be sure ta write only a word or a phrase -

not a full statement (sentence). See PATTERN 3 above.

The grasping of sea weeds reveals the most resourceful of

the sea horse - its prehensile tail.
But now there is an even more miserable machine tyr'anllzing
man's daily life - the computer.
Skid-row inhabitants have one thing in common - a sense of
Oscar had only two ambitions - to marry a ri ch widow and retire
EXPLANATION: to the Riviera.

For variation, for a more informaI construction, you may use

a dash instead of the colon before a short, emphatic appositive at
the end of a sentence. Notice that in both PATTERNS 10 and 10a The second naming must be a true appositive; don't simply
the second naming is usually climactic or emphatic. The differenc~ "stick in" a dash or a colon before you get to the end of the sen-
is only in punctuation: dashes almost always precede a short, tence. If you do, you may have sim ply an error in punctuation,
climactic appositive, whereas a colon will generally precede longer not a true appositive. Here is a po or example, lifted from a student's
appositives. paper:
Study the difference in sound and emphasis which punctua- One class of teenagers can be labeled - students.
tion and the length of the appositive make in the following sen-
CORRECT: One label would fit almost any teenager:
A new job requires one quality, humor.
(corn mon usage but not emphatic) BLAH!
Adjusting to a new job requires one quality ab ove aIl others-
a sense of humor. (dramatic signaling)
Adjusting to a new situation requires one quality: humor.
(significant pause, but not so dramatic)
Adjusting to a new job requires one quality: the ability to laugh at
oneself. (more dramatic, more stylistically complete)

Most contemporary philosophies echo ideas from one man--
The relatively few salmon that do make it to the spawning grounds
have another old tradition to deal with - male supremacy.

ln the space below, irnitate tlzis pattern and create sorne Adding rnodifiers is a good way to clarify a sentence that is too brief
sentences of your own. or lean. Often sorne key word will require addition al
rnodifiers - in order to rnake its meaning c1ear. Modifiers are eSJ)eClaljly
helpful if you wish to appeal to your reader's senses, to add sorne
figurative language, or to rnake cornparisons or allusions.
These rnodifiers may be single words, phrases, even clauses; they
rnay be at the beginning, in the rniddle, or at the end of the sentence.
They may be ideas or descriptions or figures of speech which you add
to a sentence you are revising. Take two short, ineffective sentences.
Make one into a modifier or a dependent clause, and th en combine it
with the other sentence for a stronger, clearer construction.
You will have no trouble with modifiers if you rernernber one fact:
like leeches or magnets, they cling to the nearest possible target. There-
fore, take care to avoid misplaced or dangling modifiers. If they ding to
the wrong target, you will have an incoherent or illogical or ludicrous

~ The punctuation marks for this pattern must go in pairs,
with one mark before the modifier and a mark after it.

When the modifier cornes between the subject and the verb,
you may use a pair of commas or a pair of dashes to separate it
from the main elements of the sentence. If the modifier is merely
an aside within the sentence ( a Idnd of whisper ), put parentheses
around it for variety in punctuation. This modifier need not be
just a single word; it may be a pair of words or even a phrase.

A small drop of ink, falling like dew upon a thought, can make
millions think.
A smaU drop of ink, falling (as Byron said) like dew upon a
thought, can make millions think.
His manner - pompous and overbearing to say the least - was
scarcely to be tolerated.

NOTE: Interrupting modifiers may also come at sorne point other

than between the subject and verb. Se.e the following ex-

He jumped at the chance (too impetuously, really) to shoot the

rapids in his kayak.
Her joyous bursts of laughter - delightful to aIl who knew her - no
one will ever forget.
To be only a musician and nothing eise - like an organ grinder
or a gypsy fiddler - was an outrage Greg's family could not

a different drummer. Let him to the music which
however measured or far away." - echoes :sn;aK~~SDear'e'
- a sentence vice that each man should be true to himself.
of dashes or pmceutneses Nelson made his tax report on New Year's Day - not with
joyment (who could ever enjoy it?)-
wanted an early return of his refund.
EXPLANATION: He jumped at the chance (too impetuously, 1 thought) to shoot the
rapids in his kayak.
The modifier that interrupts the main thought expressed by the
subject-verb combination may be more than merely words or
phrases. lt may be a full sentence or ev en a full question or excla-
mation. If it is a full sentence, do not put a period before the second ~ Use this pattern with restraint. Otherwise your reader may
dash unless the sentence is a quotation. If it is a question or an excla- think you have a "grasshopper mind" and never finish one thought
mation, however, you will need punctuation. A question mark or without interference from another thought.
an exclamation point may seem strange in the middle of a sentence,
but this pattern requires such punctuation.
The interrupting modifier need not always come between the
subject and verb; it may come in other places in the sentence (see
the last two examples below). And notice the different signaIs that
the punctuation gives the reader: parentheses really say that the
material enclosed is simply an aside, not very important; the dashes,
however, say that the interrupter is important to a full understartd-
ing of sorne word in the sentence.


An important question about education - should universities teach

the classics or just courses in science and practical subjects?-
was the topie of a famous debate by Arnold and Huxley.
Narcissus ignored Echo so completely (how could he? she was such
a lovely nymph!) that she just faded away.
Juliet's most famous question - early in the balcony scene she
asks, "Wherefore art thou Romeo?" - is often misunder-
stood; she meant not "where" but "why."
One of Thoreau's most famous metaphors - "If a man does not
keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears

CAUTION: Don't dangle participles! Give them sornetnmlg
ta attach themselves ta. You will have no trouble with
them if you remember not ta "shift subjects" at
comma: the idea or persan you describe in the modi-
fying phrase, not sorne other pers on or ward, must be
the subject of your sentence. Inadvertent danglers some-
times result in unintentional humor or illogical state-

EXPLANATION: Walking onto the stage, the spotlight followed the

:rvIodifiers come in a variety of forms - single words, groups Overgrown with moss, the gardener cleaned bis seed
of words, even clauses. One interesting kind of modifier is the fiats for spring planting.
participial modifier, a verb form that is a modifier instead of a verb. See ex amples below for modifiers that don't dangle.
There are three types of parti cipIes:
present (ending in "ing") EXAMPLES:
past (normally en ding in "ed") Chaucer's monk is quite far removed from the ideal occupant
irregular (sa "irregular" that you will have ta memo- a monastery, given as he was ta such pleasures as hunting,
rize these!) dressing in fine clothes, and eating like a gourmet. ("Given"
is the participle here.)
EXAMPLE: Persevering, determined ta succeed, blest Overwhelmed by the tear gas, the rioters groped their way toward
with discipline, the pioneers forged a civili- the fountain ta wash their eyes.
zation out of a wilderness. The wrangler reached Îor his lasso, knowing he must help to corral
Persevering (present regular) the straying steers.
Printed in Old English and bound in real leather, the new edition
determined (past regular)
of Beowulf was tao expensive for the family ta buy.
blest (past irregular) Having once been burned on a hot stave, the cat refused ta go
The dictionary will help you with aIl rarticipial forms. Re- into the kitchen.
member that they aIl function as adjectives; that is, they modify
nouns or words working as nouns.
Once you understand what a participle is, this pattern is sim-
ple. It shows participial modifiers at the beginning and at the end
of the sentence, though of course they may also come as interrupters
at any point in the sentence (see the first two ex amples under

Francesca liked to occasionally wade
in the neighbor's pool.

Below, the traffie looked a neeklaee of ants.

Frantically, the young mother called for help.
Frantic, the young mother rushed out the door with the baby
EXPLANATION: her arms.
If you wish to place additional emphasis on any modifier, put AlI aftemoon the aficionados sweltered in the sunny bleaehers
it somewhere other than its normal place in the sentence. Some- watching their latest idol from Mexico City.
times in this new position the modifier seems so normal that it The general demanded absolute obedience, in~tant and unques-
sounds clear without a comma; at other times, you must have a tioning.
comma to keep the reader from misinterpreting your sentence. For Bert decided long ago to be a soldier of fortune.
example: The autumn leaves, burgundy red and fiery orange, showered down
As a whole, people tend to be happy. like a cascade of butterflies.
(Otherwise, "As a whole people. .. .") A discussion argumentative yet in conclusive is likely to result wh en
two differing philosophies tangle.
To begin with, sorne ideas are difficult.
(To begin with sorne ideas?)
Sometimes a single word like "before," "inside," or "below"
may look like a preposition instead of an adverb if you forget the
comma in a sentence like this one:
Inside, the child was noisy.
Now look what internaI rumblings you create wh en you have
no comma:
Inside the chi Id was noisy. (It was?)
If the modifier is clearly an adverb, however, you may not
need the comma:
Later the child was quiet.
Using this pattern may help you to avoid another pitfall in
writing sentences - the split infinitive. In the following sentence
"occasionally" would be better at the beginning than where it is,
separating the two parts of the infinitive.


Not aIl sentences need to start with the tradition al subject-verb com-
In the spdce below imita te this pattern and create some
bination or with a modifier obviously meant for the subject. For
sentences of your own. you may wish to invert the normal order by beginning a sentence with
sorne' kind of modifier out of its normal place; even complements and
direct objects may occasional1y precede the subject. These modifiers,
complements, and objects which you shift from their usual place may
be single words, phrases, or dependent clauses.
Be wary of any inverted pattern, however. It might lead to awk-
wardness if your writing is undisciplined. Inverting the natural order
should always result in a graceful sentence, not one that seems forced
or like an intention al gimmick. Just as every sentence should seem
natural, almost inevitable in its arrangement, so too must the one which
departs from tradition al sentence order. Try not to caB attention delib-
erately to any inversion; make it fit into the context gracefully. Aim for
sentences that possess the magic of variety, yes; but remember that too
much variety, too obviously achieved, may be worse than none at aU.

his Master's
JJ..J'-'''I-'J.'C'''' ln World Trade and .LJ'-'VU'JJl.H.L'-'''',

only job Chester could get was H.l<'~"Jl.JIJ'F,

With slow and stately cadence the honor guard entered the
lnto the arena ru shed the brave bulls to defy death and the matador.
EXPLANATION: In a11 the forest no creature stirred.

Before trying this pattern, remember what a preposition is. CHECKPOINTS:

The very name indicates its function: it has a "pre-position." The
"pre" means that it cornes before the object which is necessary to Sometimes a comma is necessary after the preposition al phrase,
make a preposition al phrase. In other words, a preposition never sometimes not. Let the sound and meaning of your sentence guide
occurs alone because it must show the relationship between the you.
word it modifies and its own object. For example, consider a box
and a penci!. Where can you put the pencil in relation to the box?
It might be "on the box" or "under the box," "in the box" or "near
the box," "inside the box" or "beside the box." Can you think of
other prepositions?
For this pattern, put the preposition al phrase at the beginning
of the sentence, making sure that the inversion emphasizes the
modifying phrase without sounding awkward. Only your ear will tell
you whether to put a comma after it; will the reader need the
punctuation for easy reading? If so, provide it.
For example, these sentences must have commas:
After that, time had no meaning for him.
Beyond this, man can probably never go.
(Not "after that time" or "beyond this man.")
These sentences do weIl without a comma:
Until next summer there will be no more swimming.
During the winter months Tom worked as a trapper.


For every season of the year there is sorne magic, sorne unique

Inversions are easy to do out of context, for exercise.
But in a setting with your other sentences, you need to take care
that sound natural, not forced or awkward. Therefore use
them sparingly, and th en for special emphasis.

Occasionally you may wish to invert and thereby stress sorne

part of the sentence which ordinarily cornes after the verb (the
direct object or the subject complement). These may go at the be-
ginning of the sentence instead of in their regular positions. This
inversion adds invisible italics to the part of the sentence you write
first. When you use this pattern, always read your inversion aloud
to be sure that it sounds graceful in the context of your sentence,
that it blends well with the other sentences around it. Here, as in
the preceding PATTERN 14, only the sound and rhythm of the sen-
tence will indicate whether you need a comma or not; there are no


These ex amples have the direct object before the subject-

verb combination:
His kind of sarcasm 1 do not like.
Celia's interest in tarot cards and Sammy's absorption
in horoscopes Mrs. de la Renza could never under-
These examples have a subject complement before the
subject-verb combination:
An authority on Sanskrit, a dilettante, and an aesthete
Geoffrey considered himself to be, but his friends
had a different opinion.
The Tin Lizzie may have been the most dependable auto-
mobile of its day, but quiet it wasn't.

westward fl.ew their are:ams. Mod V
for everyone the
milk and
between V
and S C
"The English Mail Coach" has a sentence
PATTERNS 15 and 15a: "But craven he was not: sud den had
EXPLANATION: been the caU upon him and sudden was his answer to the can."
The standard English syntax is From his years of suffering came eventual uncteI'stainctmg and com-
subject - verb
subject - verb - modifier
subject - verb - completer (direct object or subject ytf This pattern must never offend the ear by sounding awkward or
complement) . stilted.
Completely reversing the order of these sentence parts will
create an emphasis and a rhythm you can achieve in no other way: Test your sentence by reading it aloud. How does it sound?
verb - subject
Is it consistent with your tone? Does it fit neatly into the con-
modifier - verb - subject text?
completer - verb - subject.
This pattern will add spice to your prose; but like garlic or
cayenne pepper, too much can be overpowering. So restrain your-
self; don't overuse this pattern. It will probably fit better into
dramatic statements or poetic prose passages than into business let-
ters or laboratory reports.

From the guru's prophecy radiated a faith that ultimately aIl would
be weIl.
Down the street and through the mist stumbled the unfamiliar
Even more significant have been the criticisms about the quaIity of
life in our affiuent society.
Westward the country was free; ModSVC
westward, therefore, lay their hopes; Mod V S

1 The Twenty Patterns

The more 1 eat chocolate fudge sundaes, the less enjoy ~tro:>uTh""''''''''7
shortcake and other desserts.
Kai and Ernst were two of my favorite ski instructors: the former
Not S but also S taught me downhill racing; the latter helped carry me to the
also may be hospital where Dr. Alexander set my fractured arm.
Just as S so too
be so also or
yJf' Remember that "pair" means "two." Be sure you have the
not S V at least S V second part of the construction; don't give the reader a signal sug-
The more the more V
gesting two items and th en provide only one. To say "Not only is
she preHy" and then say no more is to leave your reader confused.
be the
The former S the latter S V MORE PAIRS: The following list of correlative conjunc-
tions might further aid you in developing this
EXPLANATION: whether ... or so ... that
Sorne words work in pairs; for example, "either" takes an such ... that not only ... more th an that
"or"; "not only" takes "but also." These correlative conjunctions
both ... and as ... as
link words, phrases, or clauses which are similar in construction.
The patterns in the box above illustrate sorne common phrases neither ... nor not so ... as
used for paired constructions which may occur in simple or in com-
pound sentences. You will find this structure particularly helpful CAUTION: Put both conjunctions of the pair in a logical place
in making a comparison or a contrast. so that what follows each one will be parallel.
Whenever you use this pattern, remember to make both parts WRONG: The prisoner was found guilty
of the construction paraUe1; that is, make them both have the same
grammatical structure and rhythm.
(no parallel
t of robbery.
CORRECT: The prisoner was found guilty
of robbery
Each man lives not only his personal life as a unique individual, :;::::::;::~ 1 1
'--_---lof mur der.
but also the life of his contemporaries and of his epoch. (parallel construction;
Just as wisdom cannot be purchased, so virtue cannot be legislated. r------,
better arder for climax, tao.)
As things had begun, so they continued. WRONG: 1 forgot my keys
Reluctantly, every dieter looks for a favorable verdict from his
;;::::::=~::: * my purse.
bathroom scale: if not a pound less, at least not a pound more. (no parallel verb)
CORRECT: 1 forgot my keys
62 1 1
my purse.
the space imitate this pattern and crea te some
sentences of your own.

This type of paired construction - the simple contrast-
illustrates the differences between two ideas and usually involves a
reversaI. This simple contrast by reversaI may be dramatically
emphatic or may simply reenforce an ironie purpose. Unlike
PATTERN 16, this one does not involve the correlative conjunctions.
If you want to show a reversaI in the middle of your statement,
simply say something is "this, not that" or "not this, but that."
Punctuation marks - especially commas, dashes, or parentheses -
will help make a break in your sentence and establish your point
of reversaI or contrast.

John could be a great dishwasher, but not a great chef.
She is a woman, but certainly no lady.
By just a quirk of fa te (not by deliberate choice) Columbus landed
in the Carribean, not the Gulf of Mexico; in the West Inilles,
not the East Indies.
Money - not love - was the reason the show girl married the
million aire.
BIarne Sara's poor manuscript on laziness, not fatigue.
We are not angry; simply disgusted and ready to quit.
(Note the ellipsis and the contrast.)

many highly literate people continue to watch "situa-
tion comedies" on television] amazes
producers, even directors.
(subject of amazes)
IOf~penQent clause as
[That he was a werewolf] became obvious within a few moments
d.etJen.d.e11t clause as after his fingernails turned into claws.
(subject of verb became)

As you learn to vary your sentence structures, alternating sim- Remember that the dependent clause can never stand alone;
ple ones and more complex ones, you will find this pattern especially it is only a portion of your sentence. Therefore don't put a period
helpful in achieving variety and style. Although this is a sophisti- before it or after it because you will create an awkward fragment.
cated pattern, it is (strangely enough) quite common in speech; For instance, these two examples are wrong:
it is easy to use in your written work, too, if you understand the
dependent clause that is merely a part of the independent clause. With horror she realized ihat he was a werewolf. Con-
firming her mother's low opinion of him.
The dependent clauses in this pattern, which serve as nouns, Juliet never realizes why her decision to drink the sleep-
will begin with one of the following words ing potion is irrational. Which explains why she
who, whom, which, that, what, why, where, when drinks it.
after which will come the subject-verb of the dependent clause. If
one of thèse introductory words 1S the subject, it will need only a How would you correct these errors?
verb after it.

[How he could faU] is a mystery to me.
(subject of verb is)
He became [what he had long aspired to be.]
(complement after became)
[What man cannot imagine,] he cannot create.
(object of can create in this "inverted" sentence)
Juliet never realizes [why her decision to drink the sleeping potion
is irrational.]
(object of verb realizes)

Or you can work with . . . . . ", . . 0. • .,,+ participles:
The American economy, God will soon
His early efforts failing, tried a new '".""~1h.
n ..... to
ca1culus problem.
absolute construction If you wish, you may even use several participles and then contradict
a of dashes or palœntheses aIl of them with a contrasting adjective as the following sentence
Caesar continued his march through Gaul, his army
exhausted, hardened - but victorious.
What exactly is an absolute construction? It is a noun or pro-
noun plus a participle with no grammatical connection to the in-
dependent clause. What's so absolute about it? Only its absolute The waIls being blank, the new tenant - an unemployed artist--
independence, its lack of any grammatical connection to the sen- promptly set about covering aIl of them in a mural of orange,
tence. At home in any part of the sentence, an absolute construction vermillion, and yellow.
is a separate entity and provides further information without modi- 1 plan to sail to Tahiti (my pension permitting) as soon as 1 retire
fying anything. Maybe these constructions are called "absolute" from this company.
because they are absolutely different from anything el se in English
We had our Memorial Day picnic after aIl, the rain having stopped
grammar; they are not dependent clauses because they have no
before sunset.
verbs, and they could never be independent clauses for the same
The crayons being aIl used up, Angelo stopped marking on the
newly painted table.
ABSOLUTE: His blanket being torn, Linus cried on Charlie
AU things considered, the situation seems favorable.
Brown's shoulder.
My fortune having been told by Madame Lazonga, 1 felt more at
DEPENDENT CLAUSE: Because his blanket was torn, Linus cried ease about my future.
on Charlie Brown's shoulder.
If carefully used, this pattern will be one of your most helpful CHECKPOINTS:
devices for varying sentence structure. If tossed into a sentence
cavalierly, it may create inexcusable awkwardness. Try not to force Because it has no grammatical connection with the senlen.ce.
this construction but look for places in your paragraph where it the absolute construction must always have sorne punctuation. Use
one comma after an absolute phrase at the first of the sentence or
would seem natural.
before one at the end. Such a phrase in the middle of the sentence
You may work with irregular participles (torn· and burnt must have a pair of commas or dashes or parentheses.
here) :
His blanket torn and his finger bumt, Linus cried on Charlie
Brown's shoulder.

1 The Twenty Patterns

The frontier was open.

And so it was.
"CalI me Ismael." (the dramatic first sentence in Moby Dick)
NOTE: Try to imagine the kind of context that would make these
sentences dramatic and effective.
This pattern for a short sentence can provide intense clarity,
but brevity alone will not make it dramatic. Actually, this pattern ~ Length is not the criterion here.
will be effective only
when you employ it deliberately after sever al ~ Don't think that "1 like petunias" or "Children laugh" fit this
long sentences, pattern just because they are short. They might, of course, but only
in the proper context.
or when you let it more or less summarize what
you have just said,
Look in your reading to discover how profession al writers
or when you let it provide transition between employ this technique of short sentences for special effects.
two or more ide as.
"AIl was lost" or "Thus it ended" may not look very startling ~ This pattern is best wheh it is emphatic, points up a contrast,
here, but in the appropriate context they might be quite dramatic. or summarizes dramatically.
After a series of long, involved sentences, a statement with only
a few words can arrest your reader's attention, make him pause,
shock him into considering the ide as in the longer sentences that
precede it. This pattern may, indeed, condense or point up what
you have taken several longer sentences to explain.
Developing your style involves practice and training your
ear to hear "a good turn of the phrase."

Polonius knew this.

Days passed.
But then it happened.
AH efforts failed.
Just consider this.

These of made with are
? common in conversation than in formaI prose:
That's her mother?
You made an A in Esch's c1ass?
? James ftunked modern dance?

~ Questions need to be handled carefully to be effective.
This pattern has two basic constructions: a question that begins
with an interrogative word, or a statement that becomes a question ~ A void scattering thern around willy-nilly just because they
through intonation (pitch or tone) of voice. are e~sy; rnak~ them serve sorne purpose, such as to arouse curiosity,
to stIrnulate mterest, to lead the reader into sorne specific idea
It is effective in several places: about your subject.
in the introduction to arouse the reader's interest;
as a topic sentence to introduce a paragraph;
within the paragraph to provide variety;
between paragraphs to provide transition;
at the end to provide a thought-provoking conclusion.
Look in these five places to discover where a question could
serve sorne desired effect in your writing. Provoke your reader with
staccato-like questions, wake him up, make him pause and think,
make him ask why or wherefore about your subject.


What caused the change?

Then why did he?
What cornes next?
When will it end?

Based on 10gic?
Where and when and why?
Upon what does wisdom finally depend? Vrl"rn~"i"lh7
the ability to know and understand - to see Th"."""r.h

The mere mention of the word "fragment" chills the blood of 1;:( for making exclamations and for emphasis-
What a price to pay!
grammar teachers; but a master stylist, ironically enough, often
relies on brief sentence fragments to give emphasis and a sense of AlI the se achievements before his twenty-third birthday!
immediacy to his prose. This deliberate fragment should create a The next step - martyrdom.
dramatic effect within your paragraph; it should serve sorne purpose. There is a price ta fame. The agonizing priee of self-
If it doesn't, don't use it. It would not be appropriate. Often only deniaI, the price of blood and sweat and te ars.
the context in which the fragment appears can tell you whether to
put it in or leave it out. U sed sparingly, the fragmen~ can be as
'* and sometimes in aphorisms or fragments of clichés-
effective as the rhetorical question or the short dramatlc sentence. The more the merrier for them, too.
Used injudiciousIy, it is simply another ineffective gimmick. Barly to bed!
A bird in the hand, old buddy. Remember?
EXAMPLES: Absolute power corrupting once more.
Try a fragment
1;:( in a description - .
1 wish you could have known the Southwest ln the early
days. The way it really was. The way the land seemed
ysr If you are in the habit of writing fragmentary sentences, don't
think that you have already mastered this pattern!
ta reach out forever. And those endless blue stretches of
sky! The incredible clarity of air whieh made distance an
ysr Like PATTERNS 19 and 19a, this one must be a deliberate
illusion. 1 wish 1 could make you see it so you would
styling device. It can never be merely an accident or a mistake in
understand my nostalgia, nostalgia and sorrow for a sentence structure or punctuation.
wonder that is no more.
1;{ for transition-
Now, on with the story.
But to get back to the subject.
So much for that.
Next? The crucial question to be answered.
t{ in structuring a question or an answer-
But how?
What then? Nothing.

Ted became what he had long aspired to be: a master of
and illusion, of hypnotism and tricks.
The series without a conjunction and the of a
combine weIl with the introductory " ....."''"'n.4-.~'~
any kind (PATTERNS 4, 9, 9a,
The generation which was too young to remember a · .... ,,, ..... ,,,-
sion, too young to remember World War too young
even ta vote - from that generation came America's
NOW you are ready to make sentences grow ... and grow sorne more. soldiers for Southeast Asia.
Now that you are familiar with sorne of the more comp1ex patterns 5. The compound sentence without a conjunction can combine with
in CHAPTER 2, 1et's combine two or more of them to create additional repetitions and series (PATTERNS 1, 4, 4a, 9)
variety in your sentences. Only a few ex amples of sentence combinations
Books of elegiac poetry had always stirred Jason; they made
appear in this chapter, but you will discover many more possibilities
him think of music, music that sang of ancient gloties,
as you experiment on your own, still remembering these cautions: always
of brave men, of the things they loved and hated and
try to write a sentence which fits into the total context; never force a
died for.
construction simply for the sake of variety.
6. I~troductory appositives may be written as dependent clauses,
Don't be afraid ta be creative. Experiment not only with your own
Wlth one of th~. clauses having a modifier out of place for emphasis,
favorite patterns from CHAPTER 2 but also with others, with new ones
and. the repetItlon of a key term followed by a question for dra-
you will discover in your reading or will create in your own writing
matlc effect (PATTERNS 6, 8, 9, 13, 19a)
by combining patterns as this chapter suggests. Wh en you learn to
Th~t there are t00 many people, that overcrowding causes
maneuver sentence patterns, when you fee1 at ease manipulating words,
then you will be a master of sentence structure if not yet a master stylist. problems both social and economic and political, that
hum an fellowship and compassion wear thin in such an
Now to discover what patterns combine well- environment - these are problems facing the inner city
today, problems which eventually man must solve. But
how will he ?
1. The compound sentence with a colon combines effectively with a 7. ~n inversion of the sentence pattern may also include a preposi-
series and the repetition of a key term (PATTERNS 3, 4, 9a) tlOnai phrase before the subject-verb combination within a com-
To the Victorians much in life was sacred: marriage was pound sentence (PATTERNS 1, 14, 15a)
sacred, women were sacred, society was sacred, the Around J ay were men of various nationalities; with none of
British empire was sacred. them could he ever really relate.
2. Repetition a1so combines weIl with a dependent clause as the in- A pair of dependent clauses as direct objects will work well with
terrupting modifier (PATTERNS 9 and Il) paired. words, a series without a conjunction, an interrupting modi-
The experiences of the past - because they are experiences fier wIth dashes, and a repetition of the same word in a
of the past - too seldom guide our actions today. construction (PATTERNS 4, Il, 9a, 16, 17)
3. A dependent clause as complement combines weIl with an apposi- The ~mbas~ador found that not only was America experienc-
tive at the end of a sentence after a colon and a series with balanced mg pamful expansion and costly social upheavals - over
pairs (PATTERNS 17, 10, 5)
78 E o S y ING SENTENCES Sentences Some More

foreign policy, racial disorder, economic - but reader - that will require you to shift down and backtrack, ad ding
also that the nation was facing the threat of a national modi~ers at differ~nt levels ta heip the reader comprehend fully the
paralysis of will, a paralysis of faith. meanmg you have m mind.
9. An interrupting modifier that is itself a sentence may go weIl with Study the examples below and notice how modifiers on different
another type of modifier (PATTERNS 11, lIa) levels. in the subject slot here help expand the sentence and clarify its
His family, a respected conservative family ruled mainly by meanmg.
several maiden aunts - his father had died when he was
a child - had been scandalized at the thought that their LEVEL ONE: the basic slots for any sentence (S- V)
young heir wanted ta devote his entire life ta hot-rad Whooping cranes fly.
racing and raller-derby competition.
10. After a long involved compound sentence without a conjunction, Now, on different levels add modifiers ta the subject.
a fragment with a repeated key ward and then a fragmentary ques-
tion may be very effective (PATTERNS 1, 4a, 9a, 20) LEVEL TWO (the first modifiers) : may come before or after sub-
The ecology-awareness movement aims at balance and whole-
ness and health in our environment; it wants ta assure a
proper place in the scheme of things for people, for
plants, and for animaIs. Not an exclusive place for either
one, just a proper place for aH. But how?

Frequently writers find that a simple sentence with a single subject
and a single verb is tao brief or lean, that the meaning is not complete
or as clear as it should be. What is missing is a modifier that will add
explanations, descriptions, specifie details, amplifications, supporting
materials to make the sentence clear and meaningful ta the reader. Thus,
in arder ta make his point clear, the writer adds ta his sentence. He
uses modifiers ta help the reader visualize; he illustrates the generaliza-
tion expressed in his basic sentence. These modifiers may be words, fly
phrases, clauses that appear at the beginning, the middle, or the end of unerringly.
the sentence; they may also modify one another.
Think of the basic idea, the primary simple sentence, as the first
level of writing and the modifiers added for clarity as the second or the
third or the fourth level of writing. Each successive lev el is related to the
one immediately above it and is related ta the basic sentence by the inter-
vening modifiers, sorne subordinating, sorne coordinating. Later on, as
you acquire more experience in writing, look for a generalization or an
abstract word in your sentence - clear ta you but possibly not ta your

Now add more modifiers on different levels in the verb slot:

LEVEL ONE (the basic S-·V): Whooping cranes fly.

LEVEL TWO: modifiers for the verb:

LEVEL TWO EXPANDED (more modifiers for the verb):

Spice up your sentences with sorne interesting and original figures
of speech. These are the fresh, poetic, picture-making phrases that say
one thing but mean something different or something more.
Figurative language helps words say more and me an more than
LEVEL THREE: modifier for their actual, literaI meanings convey. It demands something from the
reader: he must understand the many connotations a word may have;
he must see the picture or realize the image behind the figure of ",,,,,,-,,,-,vJU1..
It also demands something from the writer: he must try to avoid the
LEVEL FOUR: more modifiers colorless cliché. Once you understand what the various figures of speech
are, once you master their "patterns," you will have no trouble thinking
up original ones of your own.

SIMILE: A simile is a stated comparison between essentially unalike

things, things from different classes. You must have one of
the following connectives in aH similes: like, as, than, or a
Now see what modifiers can do to a basic sentence: verb such as seems. A simile says that two things are similar
The surviving fifty rare whooping cranes, with their se~en-f~ot when they are not really alike at aIl.
wingspread which propels them in their annual mlgr~tlOn
from northem Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, fly .unernn.gly EXAMPLES: Trying to pin a reason on the sudden elopement
and swiftly overhead as they migrate sout?ward usmg a kind of those two is a little like trying to nail
of buHt-in radar in their search for wmter quarters near J ello to the wall.
Aransas Pass. I1's about as easy as striking a match on a
Since 1945, the threat of total annihilation has
roosted, like a vulture in a tree, in Western
Man's awareness.
Betsy's first soufflé looked flatter than a punc-
tured balloon.

The sky is like a blue tapestry. The Arkansas defense line-up was a
Casanova found his mistresses's eyes were noth- wall - impenetrable and
ing like the sun. (This simile also makes able.
an allusion to Shakespeare's Sonnet
The quarterback crossed the line into the
Promised Land, giving Ohio State six
more points and a Rose Bowl win.
METAPHOR: A metaphor is an implied comparison. It is implied Harvard freshmen often think there should
because you do not say that something is "like" or "as" be an easier ascent up Parnassus than
another thing; you simply say that one thing IS some- . the one prescribed in the university
thing else. (A is B.) As with similes, here again, the catalogue.
two things being compared must be unlike things from
different classes. c. adjectives: Adjectives may also imply
comparisons; they describe
There are really two kinds of metaphors. something in terms that no
reader would ever take liter-
1. The "A equals B" kind uses two terms. ally.
The sky is a blue tapestry.
The dragonfly is a blue thread hovering Cynthia's feline movements clawed into
over the pool. Harold's composure. (Here, both
"feline" and "clawed" are metaphors,
2. The single-word metaphor can imply or sug- suggesting something cat-like about
gest a comparison. Cynthia.)
a. verbs: Almost any sports page will yield "Every slaughtered syllable is a kindness
a rich harvest of these verbs with to your reader," declared the lecturer
picture-making power. addressing the budding young jour-
The young rookie of the Milwaukee Bucks nalists.
skyrocketed to fame.
The quarterback blasted through the line Don't "mix" your images in a metaphor. Look at
of Nebraska's defense. these ghastly creations!
The fans came unglued and jumped up in
a frenzy of excitement. They stepped forth into the sea of matrimony
and found it a very rocky road.
b. nouns: The image or picture of com-
parison comes implied in a noun The "ship of state" might be off its keel; it might
which names one thing by calling sink or flounder or get off course without a
it another; for example, see the firm hand at the helm, but it could never bog
word "harvest" in the sentence down in a storm of red tape or be the leader
explaining verbs above. of the team or surge ahead in second gear.
84 HE F S

tinguishable from the other and

an obstacle in his
An analogy is really only an extended or simile.
(Extend this analogy by
Analogy is an attempt to compare at length two UDit:;\JI.:S
the student finds his way _~~~,~~,..,u
from different classes; a classic analogy compares the
"forest" and cornes to know the name
hum an heart to a mechanical pump, for or the
- and function -- of each "tree.
eye to a camera. This type of comparison carried to its
extreme conclusion will, of course, be illogical because
in no analogy will the various parts of the two unlike CHECKPOINT: Never rely on an analogy as proof in logic or argu-
objects be completely comparable. ment. An analogy is sim ply an imaginative com-
parison of two completely different things.
Analogy, however, does help you to clarify sorne com-
parison you are trying to make; if appropriate and not ALLUSION: Allusion is another way of making comparison; it sug-
far-fetched, it will help you to sustain a clarifying com- gests a similarity between what you are writing about
parison throughout a short paragraph or even a long, and something that your reader has read before or heard
extended piece of prose. AIl analogies should help you about. The success of the allusion, of course, will depend
to enrich your writing, to interpret sorne meaning or on whether you strike a responsive chord in your reader's
significance about your main points, to reflect your par- memory.
ticular way of thinking about things, to add wit and Allusions, richly connotative or symbolic, always
charm to your style. suggest more than the words say. Because they are rich
with overtones, your writing benefits by conjuring up
EXAMPLES: The New York Public Library might hold for your reader aIl he remembers from his past reading
the key to your future; it unlocks or knowledge.
many doors to knowledge; it opens
the way to numerous opportunities. If you want to allude to something, let sorne word
or phrase or even your very style refer to or suggest a
(This would be merely metaphor unless
similarity betweert the subject you are discussing and
you extended it a little further.)
sorne other idea, a similarity real or imaginary. Success
The hum an brain in sorne ways resembles with allusions depends in part on your reader; after a11,
a computer. he must be able to recognize what you are alluding to.
(Now, go on - complete the analogy by Sa choose allusions that will fit your audience as well
showing how.) as the context 9f your paper.
Life is like the movies: there are many Remember that obscure allusions will cloud com-
kinds of plots, but you should be the munication, but that good ones will en able you to say
director of your own script. more in fewer words. Try to use fresh allusions in your
(Does this suggest how you might discuss sentences, for stale ones which have become clichés will
life as tragedy, comedy, melodrama, merely bore your reader.
Common referents are history, the Bible, mythology,
To the new student the college campus is literature, popular personalities. In fact, a whole group
like a forest - aIl trees, each indis-

of words entered the language first as allusions to cele-

brities and entertainers: a political maverick, a boycott,
sandwiches, the Jack Benny walk, a Mae West suit, a
Morris chair. How many allusions can you find in popu-
lar advertising? Or in book titles? Or in popular music?
This Hallowed Ground (alludes to "The Gettysburg
Tender Is the Night (alludes tg, Keats' nightingale ode)
The Sun Also Rises (alludes to Ecdesiastes) TOUGH COUNTRY *
To Seek a Newer World (alludes to Tennyson's - from Tu/arosa by C. l. Sonnichsen
"Ulysses" ) SENTENCE
Leave Her ta Heaven (alludes to Hamlet) PATTERNS
The Tularosa country is a parched desert where
These book titles have allusions; can you add other everything, from cactus to cowman, carries a weapon
titles to the list? of sorne sort, and the only creatures who sleep with
both eyes closed are dead.
EXAMPLES: Even if you have miles to go, you should never abandon In all the sun-scorched and sand-blasted reaches 14
a project without finishing it. of the Southwest there is no grimmer region. Only
(alludes to Robert Frost's "The Road Not the fierce and the rugged can live here - prickly IOQ.,
Taken") pear and mesquite; rattlesnake and tarantula. True, 5
Deciding that a man's reach must exceed his grasp, Texas cattlemen made the cow a native of the region
Charlie decided to continue trying for top billing seventy-five years ago, but she would have voted
on the marquee. against the step if she had been asked.
(alludes to Robert Browning's "Andrea deI From the beginning this lonesome valley has
Sarto" ) been a laboratory for developing endurance, a stern
Flee now; pray later. (In style, this should remind the school specializing in just one subject: the Science 10
reader of the familiar "Fly now; of Doing Without.
pay later" advertising slogan.) Everything has been done to promote the suc-
The omnipresent ticking of the dock on the wall made cess of the experiments. There is almost no water
him feel chained to time. no shade. High mountain walls aIl around keep ou~ 'ta..,
(alludes to Shelley's "Adonais") the tenderfeet. On the west, screening off the Rio 14
Steve's roommate was the Cinderella man of big-time, Grande valley with its green fields and busy highways, J2
profession al hockey. great ridges of limestone and granite - Franklin and
Organ; San Andres and Oscuro - heave and roll 5 tJvnIL7
northward from El Paso. Across the valley to the Pt


eastward, shutting off the oases along the Pecos, the - and countless acres of prickly pear and lech-
Hueco mountains merge with the pine-cloaked Sac- uguilla and rabbit brush.
ramentos, and these give way to Sierra Blanca and harsh, forbidding country, appalling to new-
Jicarilla, with 12,OOO-foot Sierra Blanca Peak soar- corners from gentler regions. But it has its moments
ing in naked majesty over a11. of intense beauty. Sunrise and sunset are magic
The Tularosa country lies between the ranges, times. Vnder a full moon, that lonely, whispering
a great pocket of sand, sun, and sparse vegetation waste is transformed into an austere corner of fairy-
thirty miles wide, more or less, and over two hundred land. The belated traveler catches his breath when
miles long. The J umanos Mesa, named for a long- the tender fingers of dawn pick out the tiny black
vanished tribe of Indians, gives it a northern boun- shapes of the pine trees far above him on the top of
dary. To the south it merges with the Chihuahua the Sacramentos. One does not forget the Organs
Desert which pushes far down into Mexico. blackening against the sunset, swathed in a veil of /2.
Se en from the tops of the screening ranges, it lilac shadows - the eerie gleam of the white sands
looks like a fiat, gray-green, sun-fiooded expanse of at moonrise - a swarthy cloud dissolving in a col- \2-
nothing, impressive only because the eye can travel a umn of rain, the froth of impact showing white at its 1
hundred miles and more in one leap. Near at hand foot while aU round the sun shines serenely on.
. it is full of surprises. The northern end of the valley The yucca is a thorny and cantankerous object,
is a little less parched. Grass still grows ta11 on Car- but in the spring it puts up a ten-foot stalk which
rizozo Flat, and bean farmers have plowed up the explodes in a mass of creamy-white blossoms. And
country around Claunch. Nearby, two prehistoric 13 so it is with other sullen citizens of the de sert when
lava fiows cover the land with an appalling jumble of their time comes: the prickly pear with its rich yellow 10
volcanic rock known locally as the malpais. fiower, the desert willow dripping with pendent pink
South of the lava fiows, the vast gypsum de- and lavender, little pincushion cacti robing themselves
posits called the White Sands spread out in a deathly, in mauve petaIs more gorgeous than roses, the oco-
glittering world of pure white which edges eastward tillo shrouding its savage spines in tiny green leaves
a few inches every year, threatening in a few millen- 12 till its snaky arms look like wands of green fur, each
nia to swa110w up everything as far as the Sacra- one tipped with a long finger of pure scarlet.
mentos. It is big country - clean country - and if it
Sometimes the valley fioor heaves in sand dunes; has no tenderness, it has strength and a sort of
sometimes it breaks into red hummocks, each one magnificence.
crowned with the delicate green leaves and lethal To live there has always been a risky business
thorns of a mesquite bush. There are broad swales - a matter not only of long chances and short shrifts
where the yuccas grow in groves -leprous alkali but also of privation and danger. This was true of
fiats where even the sturdy greasewood can barely the prehistoric cave dwellers who lived only a little
hold its own - long inclines of ta11 grama grass better than their animal neighbors in the Huecos
where the foothills rise to the knees of the mountains many centuries gone by. It was tIue of the little
90 HE G E C S

pueblo commumtles which grew up later in the were higher and better supplied. Spring-fed streams
mountain canyons and wherever a wet-weather lake came down from the Sierra Blanca at Three Rivers
made existence possible on the valley floor. lt was while Tularosa Creek descended the pass betwee~
true in historic -times of the peaceful Christian lndians Sierra Blanca and Sacramento beside the main trail
who abandoned their unfinished church at Gran from the Pecos to the Rio Grande.
Quivira when the Apaches overwhelmed them nearly Farther south, where the mile-high cliffs of the 13
three hundred years ago. Sacramentos soar above the plain, a number of can-
Yes, it has always been hard country - frontier yons drained off the water from the heights - Dog IO~
country - and for obvious reasons, the first reason Canyon and Agua Chiquita; Sacramento and Grape- S-
being those same Apaches. The slopes of the Sierra vine. In Sacramento Canyon and in Dog Canyon the 14-
Blanca were their favorite haunts as far back as we water. was more or less permanent. But everywhere,
have any records, and though they ranged far and until the skill and cupidity of man turned the liquid
wide over the de sert and even moved to Mexico for go Id to account, it flowed out onto th~ flats a pitifully
decades when the Comanches descended upon them, short distance and disappeared in the sand. Along
they always came back to the mountain rivers and with it, as the years passed, flowed the blood of 150..
the ta11 pines. A merciless environment made them many a man who gave up his life for a trickle of
tough and almost unbeatable fighters. They kept water.
their country to themselves as long as they were able, Sensible men, cautious men, stayed away from
waging a never-ending war against hunger and thirst, 5 such a place. But the adventurous and the hardy
Comanches and Mexicans, soldiers and settlers, until and the reckless kept on coming. Each one had a
their power was broken less than a lifetime ago. dream of sorne sort - water for his cows, solitude
Highways and railroads were slow in coming for his soul, gold to make him rich. For ev en the
to a region so far removed from the gathering places Tularosa country has its treasures. The ghostly ruins
of men and money. Sheer isolation did what the of Gran Quivira have been honeycombed by men
Apache was not able to do alone: it held off the 3 obsessed with the not.ion that the lndians buried a
traders and developers for years while the Rio Grande hoard of gold before they left. At the northeast
and Pecos settlements were booming. corner of the valley, in the Jicarilla Mountains, lies
But the most potent force of aIl for keeping the abandoned gold camp of White Oaks, the site 1Sa...
people out was plain, old-fashioned, skin-cracking of rich mining properties seventy years ago. Midway
drought. The rainfall was imperceptible, and there between El Paso and Alamogordo, on the rocky
was just enough ground water available to cause slopes of the J arillas, Orogrande sits solitary, remem- 12.
trouble. On the valley floor there was next to none bering the days when prospectors and miners
at all until men got around to drilling wells. A few swarmed in; and a few miles away at the San
springs existed here and there in the Organs and the Augustin Pass the abandoned shafts at Organ tell
San Andres, none of them big enough to supply more a similar tale.
than a few men and beasts. The eastern mountains But the real story of Tularosa is the story of
Texas cattlemen - drifting herdsmen who began tame. Their sons and daughters still live among us -
to invade the valley in the early eighties, fine people, too - and their still frown on
their stern folkways with them. They too ran into loose discussion.
trouble, for their law was not the law of the Mexicans For these reasons this is not an easy story to
or the Indians or the Yankees who arrived during tell, but it is time someone told it. So let's go back
and after the Civil War. It was those proud riders to the beginning, before the Texas cattle crowded in,
who kept the Old West alive in that lonely land until ate the grass down to the roots, and trampled the
yesterday. It was the clash of their ways and stan- plain inta dust back to the days when the country
dards with the ways and standards of the settled was the way God made it: bunch grass growing up
citizens which caused the feuds and killings and to a horse's belly; miles of yellow flowers in the wet
hatreds that make up the unwritten history of the years; little rainwater lakes at the foot of the Organs
region. The Apaches and the climate and the lay of and the San Andres, long since dried out and buried 12
the land helped. But in the last analysis it was the in dust; sun and sand and sixt Y long miles to town.
Texans who made Tularosa the Last of the Frontier
Those times seem as remote from present-day
reality as the wars of Caesar and Charlemagne, but
they have left a brand on the soul of many a man
and woman still living. That is why this story has
never been fully told - why aIl of it can never be
toId. For out here in the desert the West of the old
days has never quite given way to a newer America.
Customs have changed, but attitudes have held fast.
To test this fact, try asking questions about certain
people and events. Old men clam up and change the
subject. Young ones who have heard something
hesitate a long time before telling what they know
about the sins and tribulations of their grandfathers.
Once it was dangerous to talk about these things.
Even now it is not considered wise. The fears and
loyalties and customs of yesterday - these things
still cast their shadows on us who live on the edge
of the desert. On the streets of El Paso or Las Cruces
or Alamogordo you can still hear the click of boot-
heels belonging to men who played their parts in
*Reprinted by permission of The Devin-Adair Company.
dramas which would make a Hollywood movie look <01960 by C. L. Sonnichsen, Chapter 1, "Tough Country,"


Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. PATTERNS
at the expense of security and became beatniks. Each
SENTENCE course created only a partial man. There was need
for a way of life, a way of autonomy, between past
After Kennedy's death, Adlai Stevenson caI1ed and present, the organization man and the anarchist, 5
him the "contemporary man." His youth, his vitality, the square and the beat.
his profound modernity- these were final eleme?ts 6 It was autonomy which this humane and self-
in his power and potentiality as he stood on the bnnk sufficient man seemed to embody. Kennedy simply
of the Presidency. For Kennedy was not only the could not be reduced to the usuai complex of socio-
first President to be born in the twentieth century. logical generalizations. He was Irish, Catholic, New
More than that, he was the first representative in the England, Harvard, Navy, Palm Beach, Democrat
White House of a distinctive generation, the genera- and so on; but no classification contained him. He
tion which was born du ring the First WorId War, had wrought an individuality which carried him be-
came of age during the depression, fought in the yond the definitions of class and race, region and 5
Second World War and began its public career in religion. He was a free man, not just in the sense of 16
the atomic age. the cold-war cliché, but in the sense that he was,
This was the first generation to grow up as the as much as man can be, self-determined and not the
age of American innocence was coming to an end. servant of forces outside him.
To have been born nearly a decade earlier, like Il This sense of wholeness and freedom gave him
Lyndon Johnson, or nearly two decades earlier, like Il an extraordinary appeal not only to his own genera-
Adlai Stevenson, was to be rooted in another and tion but even more to those who came after, the \6
simpler America. Scott Fitzgerald had written that children of turbulence. Recent history had washed
his contemporaries grew up "to finÇl a11 Gods dead, away the easy consolations and the old formulas.
a11 wars fought, a11 faiths in man shaken." But the Only a few things remained on which contemporary
generation which came back from the Second World man could rely, and most were part of himself- \0Q..
War found that gods, wars, and faiths in man had, family, friendship, courage, reason, jokes, power, 4-
after aIl, survived if in queer and somber ways. The patriotism. Kennedy demonstrated the possibility of
realities of the twentieth century which had shocked the new self-reliance. As he had liberated himself
their fathers now wove the fabric of their own lives. from the past, so he had liberated himself from the
Instead of reveling in being a lost generation, they need to rebel against the past. He could insist on
set Dut in one mood or another to find, if not them- standards, admire physical courage, attend his church,
selves, a still point in the turning world. The predica- love his father while disagreeing with him, love his
ment was even worse for the generation which had country without self-doubt or self-consciousness. Yet,
been too young to fight the war, too young to recall while absorbing so much of the traditional code, his
the age of innocence, the generation which had ex- sensibility was acutely contemporaneous. He voiced
perienced nothing but turbulence. So in the fifties the disquietude of the postwar generation - the
sorne sought security at the expense of identity and mistrust of rhetoric, the disdain for pomposity, the
became organization men. Others sought identity impatience with the postures and pieties of other days,

the resignation to disappointment. And he aIso voiced
the new generation's longings - for fulfillment in ~".t-'"'-'.lH
the rl11-1-""1"',"'11 '"''
experience, for the subordination of seIfish impulses sentence with a s~;rnl:COLlvH and one with a
to higher ideals, for a link between past and future, What is the specific the second
for adventure and valor and honor. What was for- clause?
bidden were poses, histrionics, the heart on the What kind of verb must be
sleeve and the tongue on the cliché. What was re- 2 second clause before you can omit it?
quired was a tough, nonchalant acceptance of the
Can you ever omit something other than
harsh present and an open mind toward the unknown verb in an elliptical construction?
4--8 3. What kinds of things can be 1isted in series?
This was Kennedy, with his deflationary war-
time understatement (when asked how he became a What s10ts in the sentence contain series?
hero, he said, "It was involuntary. They sank my Explain the patterns and the punctuation for
boat"); his contempt for demagoguery (once during the different kinds of series.
the campaign, after Kennedy had disappointed a In PATTERN 6, what two things come Imme:Cll-
Texas crowd by his New England restraint, Bill Att- ately after your series of appositives?
wood suggested that next time he wave his arms in
5. Why must the series in PATTERN 7 be set off
the air like other politicians; Kennedy shook his head by a pair of dashes?
and wrote - he was saving his voice - "I always
swore one thing rd never do is - " and drew a pic- What other marks of punctuation might occa-
sionally substitute for those dashes?
ture of a man waving his arms in the air); his free-
dom from dogma, his appetite for responsibility, his 6. In what two particular places in an essay would
instinct for novelty, his awareness and irony and PA TTERN 8 be good ta use? What should go
control; his imperturbable sureness in his own pow- into the dependent clause?
ers, not because he considered himself infallible, but 16 7. What other patterns could perform the same
because, given the fallibility of aU men, he supposed function?
he could do the job as well as anyone else; his love 9
of America and pride in its traditions and ideals. 8. What qualifications should a ward have before
you put it in PATTERN 9?
9. What kinds of words and in what slots of the
9a sentence can you repeat the same ward in par-
alle1 structure?
10. What kind of construction must come after the
9 comma ta keep PATTERN 9 from becoming a
PATTERN 1 with a comma splice?
* Reprinted by permission of Houghton Miffiin Company.
©1965 by Arthur M. Schelesinger, Jr., A l'housand Days,
pp. 113-115. 97

11. Write one sentence three times, using different 12 How can you avoid a dangling here?
punctuation marks before the appositive (com- 13 22. What kind of modifier needs a comma after it
10 & 10a ma, dash, colon). Then explain the difference in PATTERN 13?
emphasis which the punctuation creates. Which 14 24. What purpose might lead you to invert a sen-
is Ieast emphatic? Which is most emphatic?
Which makes a longer pause? Which is most 15 23. What does "inverted sentence" mean?
formaI and prim?
15 25. What items in the normal order of a sentence
12. What besides a single word can be an apposi-
may come out of their normal place (i.e., be in-
tive? verted)?
13. a. What is the difference in the construction 15a 26. What cautions must you observe to make your
following the colon in PA TTERN 3 and
inversions successful?
16 27. What kind of phrases (words) always come in
b. What is the difference in the construction
following the dash in PATTERNS 9 and 10a? pairs?
16 28. What kind of statement will this pattern
7a& Il 14. Explain the difference between an internaI ap-
you to make?
positive and an interrupting modifier.
17 29. What kind of "signal words" herald the begin-
Il 15. In PATTERN Il, what two main parts of the sen-
tence are separated by this interrupting modi- ning of dependent clauses that may function as
subject or object or complement?
30. Write two sentences using the same dependent
Il 16. What three marks of punctuation can separate
clause. In one sentence, make the dependent
this modifier from the rest of the sentence? Can
clause the subject; in another, make it the direct
you ever use just ONE of these marks?
17. Write the same sentence three times. Punctuate 18 31. Describe an absolute construction; name its two
it with a pair of commas, a pair of dashes, and
parts. Can it ever be a complete sentence?
a pair of parentheses; th en explain the difference
18 32. What is the difference in this pattern and the
in sound and emphasis in each.
one with an introductory or concluding modi-
lIa 18. Write a sentence that functions as an interrupt- fier?
ing modifier in another sentence. 18 33. If the absolute construction occurs in the middle
lIa 19. Write a question as an interrupting modifier. of the sentence, what must your punctuation be?
Where does the question mark go? 18 34. Can absolute constructions ever occur in pairs
20. Where do participles come from? How are they or in series?
always used? What different kinds of endings 19 35. What is the difference in PATTERN 19 and the
may they have? ordinary kind of short simple sentence?

19 What functions can this Make up sorne sentences with nonsense

19 is the sound of this and discuss the structure and
the rhythm? the context? volved.
19a 38. What special functions can the short ,-,n,.,.~",~~ Define certain terms which occur in CHAPTER
perform? elliptical, appositive, paraUeZ construction, par-
ticiple, absolute construction, series, modifier.
19a 39. What are the two types of questions?
49. What function does punctuation in
19a 40. Where are good places ta use a short auestJlOn
in writing?
50. Why are style and variety in your sentence
20 What two reasons may make a writer use a
structure so important anyway?
deliberate fragment?
20 What is the importance of the surrounding con-
text for a deliberate fragment?
20 43. What different kinds of functions may the frag-
ment perform?

MISCELLANEOUS QUESTIONS (for class discussion or essay tests)

44. Write the same sentence twice and punctuate it
two different ways. Discuss the difference in
sound, emphasis, and effect.
45. Write a sentence with S - V - D. O. Now put
that D. O. in a different place and notice the
46. Express the same idea with different kinds of
Bad grades bother John.
What bothers John is bad grades.
John is bothered by bad grades.
John, bothered by bad grades, decided to
buy sorne midnight oil.
Bad grades bothering John?
Bad grades having bothered him before, John
determined that this semester would be
Long association with the printed page has made most readers
certain signaIs to conform to standard conventions. will be confused and you will have failed to communicate. Sorne marks
guide th~ eye; others, the ear. That is, they indicate the intonation (pause,
denrael evah lIa diuoc eW stress, pltch) the reader should use mentally. For instance, the
sdrawkcab sdrow daer ot indicates a full st~p with. pitch of voice dropped to indicate a long pause,
tes dah sretnirp ylrae fi whereas exclamatIOn pomts "shout" at the reader and indicate he must
yaw taht epyt rieht raise his voice. The period indicates a long pause, whereas the comma
indÏcates a short one. The semicolon signaIs not only a stop but also
'nu lU )J~!ll
ou AnU~U sI UMOP-dP!sdn "equality": something equally structured will follow. The colon signaIs
~U!PUdl luql puy dldodd lSOill puu tha.t the thought is not complete, that something explanatory will follow:
an Important word, phrase, sentence, or a formaI listing. The colon is a
Also, we know the shapes of printed words so weIl that very formaI mark, whereas the dash is less fonnal, and material within
parentheses ju~t "whispers" to the reader. Generally speaking, these
VUl. VV"V nav"V HIVLC; UIIII\,;uny wnCIl wc; \,;au ~c;c; VU!} U!"V UVlLVlllO.
marks a~e ~ot mterchangeabIe; each mark has its own function to per-
form. It 1S Important, therefore, that you learn when to use the following
The same kind of training has made us come to expect that printed punctuation marks: .
words today will have spaces between them even though in many early
writings allthewordsrantogetherwithoutspacesanywherenotevenbetween
sentencesandtherewerenosuchthingsasparagraphs. COLON: 10 to introduce enumerations after a complete state-
In the same. way, we have come to expect that punctuation will
follow conventions just as we expect to read from left to right and to 2. before an independent clause which restates in dif-
find spaces between words so do we aiso expect the marks of punctua- ferent form the idea of the preceding independent
tion to signal to us something about the relationships of words to each clause (in a compound sentence)
other after aIl the same arrangement of words for example Joe said 3. to indicate something is to follow, after the words
Henry is a dirty slob can have two different meanings depending on the "following," "as follows," or "thus"
punctuation even a few marks to signal the end of each sentence would
have heiped you in this paragraph to help your reader give him sorne 4. before a climactic appositive at end of sentence
of the conventional signaIs we calI punctuation marks.
1. between the independent clauses in a compound
sentence without a conjunction
2. between the independent clauses in a compound
In the American English sentence, punctuation functions as a code, a sentence with a conjunction wh en there are com-
set of signal systems for the reader to which he will respond. If your code mas in one or both clauses
is clear, the reader will get your signaIs. If your code is faulty, the reader 3. before transitional connectives (conjunctive ad-
verbs) separating two independent clauses (how-
Format for this page was partIy suggested by John Spradley's article-"The ever, therefore, furthermore, thus, hence, likewise,
Agenwit of Inpoint"-in JEIT (Journal of English Teaching Techniques),
Spring, 1971, pages 23-31. moreover, nonetheless, nevertheless)
4. to separate elements in a series containing inter-
naI commas

internaI series
inde pendent clauses joined
<UVU.':;:'l.H or
but, for, or, nor, so, yet)
V'-'-"V~;'UÂ'VU''''cu ,-,-,,,uH,Hl". often for ,",H,qJLJlUL?lL?
elements in a series
3. contrasted elements in a this, not that construction mten'UDltmJ! modifiers and for dramatic
direct quotation from such constructions as He said, She an-
swered, etc. to enclose words, phrases, or expressions that have no ,""or,~<_'_
5. elements in dates, addresses, place names upon the main idea (to make asides or "whispers" to the
6. long introductory phrase or an adverbial clause preceding the reader)
main clause
NOTE: Like commas and dashes, parentheses may occasional-
7. an inverted element
ly be used a1so:
any elements that might be misread or which might otherwise
8. 2. to enclose an interrupting series
seem to run together
important omissjons, elliptical constructions
3. to enclose an appositive
absolute constructions at the beginning or the end of a sentence 4. to enclose an interrupting modifier between subject - verb
a to enclose
1. at the end of a declarative sentence
1. any interrupting construction between subject and verb, verb
and object or complement, or any two elements not normally 2. after abbreviations

separated MARK
2. an appositive
1. at the end of a direct question
3. nouns or pronouns of direct address
2. after each question in a series
non-restrictive (not essential) interrupting modifiers
Where are the jewels? the crown? the rings? the tiaras?
5. absolute constructions within sentences
3. in parentheses to express uncertainty
6. any parenthetical expression within sentences In 1340 (?) Chaucer was born.

to sentence elements NOTE: Don't use a question mark to indicate

a. intended irony: His humorous letter failed to
1. before a summary word to separate an introductory series of amuse her.
appositives from the independent clause
b. an indirect question. Joe asked when we were
2. before an emphatic appositive at the end of a sentence going to have chiles rel-
lenos again.
3. occasionally before a repetition for emphasis

c. courteous requests: Will 'you please p~ss the

the butter.

1. at the end of sentences with strong exclamations or commands,
those that show strong emotion
2. after strong interjections

1. periods and commas ALWAYS GO INSIDE QUOTATION
2. colons .• andsemicolons ALWA YS GO OUTSIDE QUOTA-
3. question marks and exclamation points go inside or outside
depending upon the context of the sentence ,
4. enclose the actual words of a speaker
5. identify symbols, letters, words used as such (He has too CalI No:428.
many "but's" in this paragraph, and his "$" sign is a simple
6. enclose the titles of short stories, poems, paintings, songs,
essays, chapters of books, BUT NOT book titles


Iiisil. "~iI